Hun Sen warns that a lack of confidence in the Kingdom's health care providers is driving Cambodians abroad for medical treatment
Heng Taykry, secretary of state at the Ministry of Health, said the government plans a thorough investigation of private ambulances. "They do not have proper equipment ... wounded people arrive at state hospitals in worse condition," he said.
PRIME Minister Hun Sen has warned doctors to improve ethical standards in order to restore trust from patients during the opening of a five-day international health conference earlier this week.
"The loss of trust means that more people travel abroad seeking medical treatment. This is not a good sign for the development of the health sector in Cambodia," Hun Sen said Monday.
"Doctors should not discriminate between the rich and the poor," he added.
Hun Sen also addressed the gap between the number of doctors practicing in urban areas and those working in rural areas. About 75 percent of doctors serve a quarter of the population in Phnom Penh, while 25 percent of rural doctors serve 75 percent of the population, he said.
"We have to narrow the gap [of doctors] between urban and country areas," he said. "We have to change this issue within the five years of the [new] government mandate."
Veng Thai, director of the Phnom Penh Municipal Health Department, acknowledged that some doctors at Phnom Penh hospitals have low ethical standards.
"It is not in general, but there are a small number of them," Veng Thai said. "This [tarnishes] the reputation of other doctors who are professionals."
THE LOSS OF TRUST MEANS THAT MORE PEOPLE TRAVEL ABROAD SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT.”
He added that patients who come to hospitals for treatment often feel afraid that they will not receive proper treatment if they do not pay a lot of money to the doctor.
Heng Taykry, secretary of state at the Ministry of Health, said Hun Sen's speech referred to some individual doctors who did not respect the physicians' code of ethics.
"If [doctors] do not have good morality, they should be punished," he told the Post Monday. "But we have a lot of patients and limited services. While rich people seek private clinics, all the poor people go to state hospitals."
During the speech, Hun Sen also ordered the Ministry of Health to monitor ambulances belonging to private clinics, which were, he said, causing "anarchy like taxi cars".
He said private ambulances lacked proper doctors and equipment and acted like a taxi service to get traffic accident victims to their private clinics. "It will lead to people dying before they arrive at state hospitals," he said.