Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Health Ministry weighs in on letter of criticism

Health Ministry weighs in on letter of criticism

Health Minister Mam Bunheng (pictured) yesterday released a statement defending the ministry’s work across the nation.
Health Minister Mam Bunheng (pictured) yesterday released a statement defending the ministry’s work across the nation. Pha Lina

Health Ministry weighs in on letter of criticism

The Ministry of Health yesterday jumped to defend itself in response to a reader’s letter published in Post Khmer that was critical of the ministry and the health sector, overall.

The ministry’s open letter said it was clarifying information published in the letter written by fourth-year international relations student Sin Sopharith.

Sopharith, echoing widely held complaints, was critical of poorly trained doctors, patients being priced out of care, private clinics not being properly equipped and the ministry not being effective in its work.

The ministry’s statement, without addressing most of the specific issues raised by Sopharith, insisted it was working diligently to improve the health situation in Cambodia by speeding up the reduction of maternal and child mortality rates and reducing deaths caused by non-communicable diseases.

For example, it said the child mortality rate in 2014 dipped to 170 for every 100,000, compared with 472 in 2005. In 2015, malaria deaths decreased to only 10, compared to 135 in 2010.

“We show the facts,” Health Minister Mam Bunheng said, explaining the statement.

Sopharith was also critical of corruption and nepotism in the ministry. In May, the Post reported on evidence of fraud and corruption at the ministry’s National Malaria Centre.

Bunheng yesterday said the Anti-Corruption Unit was looking into those allegations. However, ACU chief Om Yentieng yesterday declined to comment on the matter.

MOST VIEWED

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • Western poll flak is ‘pressure to take the Kingdom hostage’

    After last month’s national elections brought praise for the orderly manner they were run and managed, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan dismissed criticism from the West as a “violation of the Kingdom’s independence”. He said the attitude of