Prime Minister Hun Sen on January 19 visited the construction site of the National Techo Peace Hospital which, once completed, will become the largest hospital in Cambodia with nearly 10,000 inpatient beds.

The premier also gave permission for the recruitment of five deputy directors, 200 medical staff members and 300 contract staff members to work at the hospital, located in Kouk Roka commune of Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district.

He said that protecting public health is one of his main priorities, so the government needs to solve the problem of providing medical treatment to the people.

“We decided to build this hospital that can accommodate 10,000 patients, which will be regarded as the largest hospital in the country,” he said.

Hun Sen said the hospital would have 10 times the number of beds as the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital, commonly known as Russian Hospital.

Citing Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng, he said the hospital with the most capacity in Phnom Penh currently can admit only a maximum of 5,000 patients.

The premier added that the Techo Peace hospital was originally planned for Covid-19 patients at the peak of the pandemic. The hospital will have over 2,000 beds per building for infected persons that can be turned into isolation wards should another pandemic occur, or if any current Covid-19 patients are to be transferred there.

“We can transfer those patients to this hospital for the treatment of Covid-19 to solve this problem. So, other hospitals will treat non-Covid diseases,” he continued.

Hun Sen said that from this year forward, education and health are the highest priority sectors to develop human resources and public health in order for Cambodian society to advance.

He added that in general, an advanced society needs education, social work and an efficient national health system.

"The 2023 budget is to serve the people, so education and health are from now on the highest priority sectors. Various ministries have to reduce the recruitment of staff; in some cases, only two or three staff members were recruited to replace five retirees [at those ministries]. But in the last year, 3,000 medical staff members were recruited,” he said.

He continued that investment in these sectors is good for Cambodian society because it is an investment in human resources and protection of human life.

Yang Kim Eng, president of the People's Centre for Development and Peace, said these two sectors play an important role in Cambodia because the development of the country depends on quality human resource training.

“If we make the education sector better, we can reduce the number of the wealthy going to private schools or sending their children to other countries. So, if our education sector is good, money will be spent domestically,” he said.

“The health sector is also the same. We see that a lot of money gets spent abroad. If we can prepare to restore the health sector, the money will go to the state’s coffers. We know that the wealthy have seldom gone to Cambodian hospitals – they go to hospitals overseas,” he noted.