After instituting a “patient contribution fee” on July 7, the Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) in Siem Reap has had an average of over 200 patients each day during the week and 65 patients per day on weekends, according to the AHC’s statement on July 18.

The hospital said that the data was from the period of July 7 to July 11, while the period from July 12 to July 18 has no data available yet.

The hospital also stated that the patients who sought the hospital’s services showed their willingness to pay the new fees to the hospital and there were also some patients who were seen free of charge as well if it was determined that they had no ability to pay, such as families holding IDPoor cards, but the hospital had no summary of those patient numbers as yet.

The AHC’s press release on June 28 said the patient contribution fees are necessary in order for the hospital to continue providing high-quality healthcare to all Cambodian children in need of medical services.

The hospital had been providing free medical check-ups to children for more than 20 years but donations from abroad slowed down due to the economic impact of the pandemic.

“The Angkor Hospital for Children is implementing a ‘patient contribution fee’ for consultation services of 20,000 riel ($5) per visit as well as hospital stay fees of 20,000 riel per night from July 7,” the hospital’s announcement in June stated.

The hospital further stated that this year Cambodia returned to normal after the global Covid-19 pandemic, but funding for the hospital was still lagging behind.

“AHC is very grateful for your support and donations, which allow us to continue to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of Cambodian children,” the hospital said.

After issuing its announcement that it would start charging a patient contribution fee on June 28, the hospital said that a representative from the Hanuman football team of the General Secretariat of the Ministry of National Defence came to the hospital on July 9 and donated eight million riel to them.

“We would like to express our deep gratitude for the gesture of generosity and we wish the leadership, staff and players of the Hanuman football team of the national defence ministry’s General Secretariat receive the four blessings of the Buddha,” the hospital states.