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Kantha Bopha Founder, Dr. Richner’s ashes to rest in Siem Reap hospital

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Dr Beat Richner, the founder of the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals, poses with a child patient. facebook

Kantha Bopha Founder, Dr. Richner’s ashes to rest in Siem Reap hospital

The ashes of Dr Beat “Beatocello” Richner, the Swiss-born doctor credited with resurrecting the network of Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals, will be enshrined in Siem Reap on Wednesday, according to a Kantha Bopha Foundation statement.

The statement said Dr. Richner’s cremated remains will arrive in Siem Reap on Wednesday and that they will be placed in a stupa in front of Jayawarman VII Hospital – one of five hospitals of the network.

In September, Dr Richner passed away in his native Switzerland after a battle with a serious illness. He was 71.

Dr Denis Laurent, deputy director of Kantha Bopha Foundation, told The Post that hundreds of monks will attend the enshrinement ceremony on Wednesday.

“The King and Queen Mother will also pay respect to Dr Richner’s ashes on Thursday … after all, it was the Royal Palace who instructed the hospital to build the stupa,” he added.

Dr Laurent said he was not aware whether Dr Richner had wished for his ashes to be interred in Cambodia, but the decision came from the family.

“It a really good decision. Having worked with [Dr Richner] for 24 years, I know that many people respect him, and they would have wanted it this way.”

Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals have been offering free services since the foundation established its first hospital in November 1992.

Nearly 18 million people have been treated for external diseases and almost two million people have received treatment for serious illness, the same statement said.

More than 260,000 women, it added, have delivered babies at Jayavarman VII hospital alone.

The statement also read that the hospitals have been lauded as “an exemplar network of hospitals”.

“The Cambodian Red Cross and government acknowledge and appreciate the foundation’s contribution in the reduction of child and mother mortality in Cambodia.”

The foundation, it added, had spent $672 million to cover the operation costs of the hospitals, which employ about 2,500 local staff members.

Siem Reap Governor Khim Bun Song said the King will also attend the 31st Technical Session and 25th Plenary session of the ICC-Angkor which will take place in on November 5-6.

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