The government has set up a working group to prepare for a takeover of the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals, though the Ministry of Health maintains it will leave current management arrangements in place.
The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy and Finance established the group to study the management of the hospital, according to documents outlining the formation and tasks for the team.
Among the group’s duties is preparing a mechanism of management and operation of the hospitals for whenever the government takes over in order to turn them into “government hospitals”, documents say.
“As I understand, it is to prepare for a handover in the future,” said Dr Sok Srun, director of the department of hospital services, who is on the group. “But we don’t have an intention to manage the hospital. Instead, we wish Dr Beat Richner to stay there as long as he can to help us.”
Dr Denis Laurent, Kantha Bopha’s deputy director, said Richner – the Swiss-born founder of the hospitals – is 69 years old and wants to find solutions for the hospitals’ sustainability in the event of his absence, adding that services would still be free of charge whenever the transition happens.