Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Govt remains committed to health budget: Hun Sen

Govt remains committed to health budget: Hun Sen

Govt remains committed to health budget: Hun Sen

090324_03.jpg
090324_03.jpg

Shortage of midwives and access to care emerge as key issues during national health care summit meeting.

Photo by:

HENG CHIVOAN 

Prime Minister Hun Sen shown here in a file photograph.

PRIME Minister Hun Sen told more than 400 public and private-sector health workers Monday that the global economic crisis would not cause the government to fall short of its public health spending commitments.

"The expenses on the health sector remain a priority," he said during his opening remarks at the two-day National Health Congress at the Hotel InterContinental in Phnom Penh. "I can guarantee now that we have enough money to meet the budget."

The 2009 budget calls for US$123 million to be allocated to the Ministry of Health, marking a 21.5 percent increase over last year.

In his speech, Hun Sen also called for expanded training of doctors and nurses willing to work in rural areas, particularly those specialising in reproductive health who could work to combat the Kingdom's high maternal mortality rate.  

Midwife shortage

 The 2005 Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey, which provides the most recent reliable maternal health data, states that the maternal mortality rate per 100,000 live births increased from 437 in 1997 to 472 in 2005, a figure cited last week by UN Resident Coordinator Douglas Broderick during a forum at the National Assembly.

During a presentation following Hun Sen's remarks, Eng Huot, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Health, cited "remarkable progress in midwife deployment" at health centres, but he said a shortage persisted.

Sann Chansoeung, deputy general for health at the ministry, told the Post Monday that there are 3,200 trained midwives in Cambodia and that 79 out of 967 health centres have no midwives. He said he believes Cambodia needs at least 100 more trained midwives.

Eng Huot said too few medical students were interested in reproductive health.

He also said some health centres lacked the supplies needed for effective reproductive health care and said others were doing an insufficient job of reaching out to pregnant women in rural areas.

Eng Huot emphasised that efforts to expand access to and improve the quality of all forms of health care had been hindered by infrastructure and staff limitations.

Addressing the need for more health care workers, Hun Sen said, "We do not want people to die because there are not enough doctors, nurses and midwives in hospitals. The development of the country does not depend just on the economy and finances but also on the health and intelligence of the people."

MOST VIEWED

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Actress’s NGO takes heat for promoting the ruling party

    An actress’s NGO which participated in an election campaign event contrary to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) has been slammed. Chorn Chanleakena, a celebrity and the president of the Association of Artists Volunteering to Help Society, allegedly led its members in

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not