Prime Minister Hun Sen said the government will disburse $30 million to continue constructing a new building at Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh in a move to ameliorate health services.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Mr Hun Sen said that while spending three days to take care of his ill mother-in-law at Calmette Hospital, he discovered a new-found respect for the hospital.
He noted that Calmette and the Ministry of Health are short of funding for a new 12-storey building and could not afford to purchase equipment to furnish existing buildings.
Mr Hun Sen said that the building will cost $39.7 million to complete, noting only 17 percent was finished thus far.
“Today, I decided to disburse $30 million to continue constructing the 12-storey building at the hospital,” he said.
He added that to equip old and new buildings, he has raised $53 million so far.
“I hope that more generous people will chip in to modernise Calmette Hospital to become our country’s referral hospital,” he said.
He also lauded doctors and all medical staff at Calmette for working responsibly and professionally.
Mr Hun Sen said that his mother-in-law was in intensive care and would have died if professional doctors were not present at the hospital.
Soung Chamroeun, 47, from Prey Veng province, said that he took care of his son at Calmette after a serious injury in a traffic accident.
“When someone is seriously ill, they will be admitted to Calmette Hospital because it is a very big state hospital. It also has modern equipment to treat patients and save lives,” Mr Chamroeun said.
Or Vandine, Health Ministry spokeswoman, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
But in a post on Facebook yesterday, Ms Vandine praised Cambodian doctors for treating her injured leg at Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital.
“I will continue to use services provided by Cambodian doctors. During my hospitalisation, I found that many of our Cambodian people have used state hospital services because they trust our Khmer doctors,” she said.
Yong Kim Eng, president of the People Centre for Development and Peace, said that some people prefer seeking health services abroad because they distrust Cambodian health services.
Mr Kim Eng said that the government should strengthen and improve the health sector so that the people trust it.
He said the poor quality of state hospitals discourage patients from using them.
“The health sector remains weak. That’s why some people still seek health services overseas,” he said. “Sometimes, the fee is too hefty and the medication quality is poor.”
“Some people say that when they get their health examined in the country, they are told they are ill, but when they see doctors outside the country, they tell them they are healthy,” he added.