Newly-appointed Minister of Health Chheang Ra has expressed his commitment to further strengthening the Kingdom’s public and private healthcare services, in order to improve the health of all Cambodians.

Ra led a delegation from the Ministry of Health on a three-day inspection tour of health facilities in the provinces around the Tonle Sap Lake from August 25 to 28.

Addressing the media during the tour, Ra explained that while the Kingdom’s health sector has grown significantly in recent years, he intends to introduce a new strategy. He will strive to improve the provision of basic public services to the people. This aligns with the government’s stated policy, which is focused on the well-being of the people. This applies to both healthcare and social protection programmes.

“To develop the health sector, the ministry will work to further improve public services. At the same time, we will strive to improve the regulation of private services, in order for them to become public service partners of the state. We will continue to regulate all healthcare providers, both public and private, in an accurate manner,” he said.

He added that the ministry also aims to enhance access to healthcare for local communities, while ensuring that all healthcare professionals adhere to a strict set of moral ethics.

LICADHO deputy director Am Sam Ath said on August 29 that as an organisation working in the field of human rights, he supports all doctors in both public and private hospitals being encouraged to adhere to professional ethics. He also welcomed further improvements in public services, both public and private.

“If we look at the health sector, we can see that the skills of our doctors are not the bad. Unfortunately, professional ethics – especially in the way some doctors communicate with patients – remains lacking, so there are still some shortcomings to be addressed,” he added.

“I would like to see the quality of treatment improve, along with standard equipment. Professional ethics should also be strengthened, in terms of language, care and medical examinations,” he concluded.

In addition to his commitment to improve the health sector, Ra also conveyed his wishes to everyone employed in the healthcare industry. He advised them to work diligently, remain disciplined and maintain their ethical standards. He also reminded them that they must work together to serve the people, and put the national interest ahead of their own.