Indian ambassador Devyani Khobragade has committed to bolstering the relationship between the two nations, particularly in strengthening the Cambodian public health sector.

Khobragade lauded the Kingdom’s achievements in peace, political stability and sustained economic growth, during her November 1 meeting with Minister of Health Chheang Ra in Phnom Penh, according to the ministry.

She emphasised India’s readiness to strengthen cooperation and support the ministry’s priority plans, pledging to work closely with its technical team to expand the bilateral cooperation, it said.

Ra expressed gratitude towards the Indian government and people for their continuous developmental aid, particularly in the medical sector.

He acknowledged India’s commitment to aiding the country’s pursuit of universal medical coverage, in line with the strategic objectives of the seventh-mandate government.

“I thank you for affirming your commitment to assist the efforts of the ministry and to promote the welfare of our people, aiming to achieve global health coverage in line with our strategic framework,” he stated.

Nuth Sambath, president of the Institute of Medicine, Biology and Agriculture at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, applauded the strong relationship between the two countries’ health sectors, noting that India’s ongoing support is crucial in advancing the industry and its collaboration with the international community.

“[Partnership] is key to improving our healthcare. It is my belief that we must enhance our human resource capabilities, including knowledge, ethics, professional conduct, infrastructure and specialist doctors, to respond more effectively to such cooperation,” he said.

Minister Ra spoke highly of India’s generosity, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic when the Indian government donated AstraZeneca vaccines to Cambodia at the behest of former Prime Minister Hun Sen.

At the meeting, Ra reaffirmed the ministry’s ongoing commitment to bilateral cooperation, focusing on the development of human resources, improving the quality of medical services and directing investment to meet the Kingdom’s healthcare needs.