Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday dismissed a proposal by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng that selected candidates or those preparing to take the entrance exam to work in the state framework must undergo a health check.
Hun Sen was speaking at the graduation ceremony of 4,038 associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctoral degree graduates from Build Bright University at the Phnom Penh’s Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The Prime Minister said he did not approve Bun Heng’s proposal because it would put an extra burden on the candidates and could also provide motivation for some officials to receive bribes.
Hun Sen said the Ministry of Health reported to him that the proposal for candidates to undergo a health check was aimed at ensuring public officials’ good health, with Bun Heng fearing that new officials could transmit diseases to other staff.
“Such a proposal seems to put an extra burden on the candidates. They have enough knowledge to pass the exam but suddenly become a failure if they develop a dry cough.
“What I want to advise the Ministry of Health is not to be worried about diseases so much as the potential for corruption.
“If I approve the proposal, candidates must get a health check to obtain approval to take the exam.
“However, there is a concern that candidates will pay money to be allowed to take the exam even though they are carrying diseases.
“Therefore, I have dismissed the proposal. It’s pointless to require candidates to have a health check, because the ministry knows how to take care of its staff,” he said.
Bun Heng said on Tuesday that he had submitted a proposal to the Prime Minister requiring selected candidates or those preparing to take the state exam to undergo a health check in order to protect the health of government officials and the public.
“But we respect the decision of Samdech Techo Hun Sen. So, I have no more comment to make about this case,” he said.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said that if the government wanted to help its citizens, it should strengthen the provision of public services.
“People often complain about the treatment provided through the National Social Security Fund [NSSF].
“If we can strengthen the NSSF’s medical provision that would be a real step forward.
“There is no point in creating extra requirements. We’re worried that if a health check is required, corrupt officials will use the measure to earn money,” he said.