The Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Centre of Preah Ang Duong Hospital, completed at a cost of about $8 million – received as a grant from South Korea through the Korea International Cooperation Agency – was inaugurated on March 28.

At the inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister Hun Sen called for attention to be transferred to the technology that Korea has provided to Cambodian medical staff. The equipment will allow them to mange and treat patients digitally, he said.

“This hospital is the first in the Kingdom to be digitally operated. South Korea has very advanced information technology, so this would not appear strange in Korea, but it is certainly new for Cambodia,” he said.

He warned that if the hospital was built, but no transfer of knowledge took place, the level of treatment would remain the same.

“I urge our medical staff to absorb as much of the information they can from our Korean friends and use it to improve our capabilities,” he said.

Hun Sen also called on doctors to pay attention to the wellbeing of the people, in line with professional ethics they are all aware of. This was key to the development of the health sector in Cambodia.

Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng said that Preah Ang Duong Hospital, located in the capital’s Daun Penh district, has been a public institution since November 2012. The facility offers many specialised treatments including ENT, optometry, dermatology and physical rehabilitation.

Under the guidance of the health ministry, in 2014, the hospital began using computer-based prescriptions, and in June 2019, it introduced a digital system to manage patient data.

“Preah Ang Duong Hospital is the first public hospital in Cambodia to introduce a digital system and become a so-called digital hospital,” said Bun Heng.

Construction of the five-storey ENT centre was begun in March 2020 and was scheduled for completion by the end of 2021. Covid-19 had delayed construction, he said.

The $8 million used for the centre included; construction of the new 128 bed building, at a cost of $4.7 million; more than $1.5 million in new modern medical equipment; and almost $1.9 million in training expenses. Staff members were trained at the Soon Chun-hyang Private Medical University in Korea.

Korean ambassador Park Heung-kyeong held the ENT centre up as a shining example of Cambodian-Korean friendship.

At the inauguration ceremony, he said that in addition to improving the physical infrastructure, the capacity of all specialists and staff has also been increased through training programmes and the transfer of knowledge – and real practice – with Korean doctors.