Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered the deployment of more specialised medical staff at public hospitals throughout the country, especially in rural areas, to meet rising demands, strengthen the public health sector and reduce the number of people seeking medical help abroad.
Speaking at the Ministry of Health’s annual meeting on Tuesday, Hun Sen said people face difficulty in obtaining medical service when they resettle, especially in border areas that lack health facilities.
“I continue to appeal for deployment of more specialised medical staff. As you know, more than 20 years ago, in 1996 or 1997, the figure that I obtained from my team’s direct observation showed that there was 70 per cent of medical staff in the city and only 30 per cent in densely populated areas,” he said.
The prime minister urged the Ministry of Health, relevant institutions and authorities at all levels to work together in strengthening the country’s public health sector to regain public confidence through quality treatment and efficient medical services. Seeking medical help abroad, he said, is costly and time-consuming.
“You need to jointly prepare effective strategies in developing human resources in the health sector and strengthening medical staff’s abilities through quality training before and when they start work."
“You also have to work together in developing a database system for human resources management in the health sector and in deploying well-qualified medical staff, especially in rural areas,” he said.
Hun Sen went on to advise medical staff from all over the country against concentrating in urban centres and instead reach out to people living in rural areas, where medical services remain scarce.
Medical staff a priority
Oddar Meanchey provincial Health Department director Klok Huot told The Post on Tuesday that there are enough medical staff in the province. What is still lacking, he said, is the availability of specialists to meet growing demands.
“As suggested by Samdech [Hun Sen], the ministry has laid out plans to deploy medical staff throughout the country, particularly in rural areas that remain our priority,” he said.
Huot held high hopes that the Kingdom’s public health system will regain the people’s trust in the near future.
Ratanakkiri provincial Health Department director Ung Ratana applauded the planned deployment of more specialised medical staff. He said while the province currently has enough medical staff, his department is getting prepared for the increasing population and subsequent growing demands.
“When the population increases, the demands for medical staff will also rise so we have to be well prepared,” he said.
According to a Ministry of Health report, there are currently 25,438 medical staff in the country’s public health sector, of which 19,710, or 77 per cent, are deployed throughout the country.