Prime Minister Hun Manet on October 24 inaugurated the National Techo Santepheap Hospital, the Kingdom’s largest state-of-the-art medical facility. It was constructed in just over a year, and financed by the government.

Manet described how the hospital was designed to serve the public health in the long term, noting that the government has paid close attention to the well-being of the people, as defined by the “No one left behind” slogan.

“The government firmly believes that the inauguration of this hospital will contribute to providing good-quality healthcare services and better health protection to all citizens,” he said.

The premier recalled that during the global Covid-19 pandemic, few countries were prepared while hospitals in most parts of the world were overwhelmed. He noted that the Techo Santepheap hospital was born from the long-term vision of former Prime Minister Hun Sen in light of the pandemic.

He explained that despite the success of its Covid-19 containment and treatment measures, the government decided to proceed with the establishment of such an advanced facility.

“Does anyone dare to assume that no situation comparable to the last pandemic will ever take place again? It may not be a coronavirus next time, but what if an outbreak of some other form of infectious disease occurs, say, in the next 100 years? Even if it only affects one per cent of our people, we need to protect everyone. The lives of our people must be put above all else,” he said.

He explained that the hospital was built to address health issues head on, by providing people with effective, timely treatment.

“This hospital is not just for the residents of Phnom Penh, but will meet the needs of people from around the country. Even foreigners who require treatment will be able to access medical care here,” he said.

“Investment in education and health remains a priority of the government. A developed or advanced country depends on its human resources, and high-quality, productive human resources are healthy ones,” he added.

Manet also used the occasion to introduce the first priority area of his government’s Pentagonal Strategy-Phase I, which focuses on the expansion of the Kingdom’s social equity fund.

He noted that over 1.4 million people have used their social equity fund or IDpoor Cards to access treatment at public health institutions for free.

“The seventh-mandate government will improve the health sector even further. We are strengthening the capacity of medics, as well as deploying capable and ethical staff to villages and communes,” he added.

Minister of Health Chheang Ra explained that the social equity fund was established in 2000 and extended to include all health centres and provincial referral hospitals across the country in 2015.

“From local services to global coverage, the health ministry – and its units at all levels – will continue to take responsibility for the improvement and expansion of medical service coverage,” said the minister.

Located on a 7ha site along Win-Win Blvd in Kouk Roka commune’s Kob Srov village of the capital’s Prek Pnov district, the Techo Santepheap Hospital has 11 separate buildings. Construction began on February 14, 2022.

The hospital is equipped with 9,496 beds, and even a rooftop helicopter pad, for the use of emergency services.