The Ministry of Health and the Chinese embassy on May 15 awarded medals to 17 traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners at the Cambodia-China Friendship Preah Kossamak Hospital, in a ceremony lauded as a symbol of the cooperation between the two countries, which are building a “community of common destiny”.

The ceremony was presided over by health minister Mam Bun Heng and Chinese ambassador Wang Wentian.

“Thanks to the strong commitment of the two countries’ leaders, friendship and cooperation between the people and governments have gradually reached the highest level, a comprehensive strategic partnership that will allow us to build a community of common destiny,” Bun Heng was quoted as saying in a ministry press release.

According to the minister, through the implementation of the common destiny policy, China has provided grants for many projects, including the Cambodia-China Friendship Preah Kossamak Hospital in Phnom Penh and in Tboung Khmum province, as well as the provision of more than 40 mobile clinics and 200 ambulances and countless other medical equipment.

Bun Heng said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, China provided emergency assistance in response to the outbreak. Seven specialists from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region provided technical assistance to Cambodian health officials, and provided medical equipment for the prevention and control of Covid-19.

Ambassador Wang addressed the May 15 ceremony, noting that this year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of China-Cambodia diplomatic relations and the beginning of its long friendship.

“China is proud to deepen cooperation, especially in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and traditional medicine,” he said.

“We will provide health sector training under the China-ASEAN multilateral framework, and continue to push for the building of a Cambodia-China common destiny and a China-Cambodia common health community, in order to provide benefits to the people of both countries,” he added.

Tan Sokun, director of the Cambodia-China Friendship Preah Kossamak Hospital, said the group of TCM specialists began their cooperation with the hospital on March 16 last year when it was officially opened.

Eleven sessions set for 2023

“As development partners, they have provided consultations and treatment to many different kinds of patients. They also provided eight training sessions in traditional medicine in 2022. They are planning a further 11 sessions this year,” he said.

Sokun added that the visiting specialists also plan to send several hospital staff to three-week training workshops at Xiyuan Hospital in China.

The consulting team have treated more than 9,000 patients for medical issues as diverse as bone fractures, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.