Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday rejected a Health Ministry proposal to require candidates who sit for civil service examinations to undergo medical checks to ensure they are fit and healthy to serve the state.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony at Build Bright University in Phnom Penh, he noted the requirement could open the way for corrupt practices where some candidates may pay bribes in order to obtain a clean bill of health.
Mr Hun Sen said the ministry had recently submitted the request to him and he also felt such a requirement would place an additional burden on candidates sitting for the examinations.
“The Ministry of Health requested for those who are preparing to sit for the exams to undergo medical checks first to see if they have infectious diseases,” he noted. “It will put an additional burden on those who have the knowledge to be good civil servants but are not allowed to sit for the exams just because they have a cough.”
“The problem is that medical check-ups sometimes are created for money-making services, which is a concern,” Mr Hun Sen noted. “So, I would like to inform the Ministry of Health that the real disease here is the disease of corruption.”
He added in order to be allowed to sit for the exams some candidates may resort to bribe health clinic officials to certify they are healthy whichout undergoing a check-up.
Him Yun, executive director of Coalition for Integrity and Social Accountability, yesterday lauded the Prime Minister’s decision.
However, he said that candidates who are preparing to take exams to serve the state should themselves be responsible and ensure that they are fit enough to serve the public.
“I therefore support the Prime Minister’s statement that there should not be medical checks on candidates who have to take exams to work as civil servants as it could lead to corruption and other problems,” he said.