The Minister of Health and the deputy governor were among those attending the opening of Angkor Hospital for Children’s new and improved outpatients department on Monday.
Designed by Singaporean company Jurong Consultants, the expanded wing aims to deal with 600-900 paediatric patients daily.
“The new design of the outpatients dDepartment is much better than what we were working with before,” the hospital’s deputy director Dr Ngoun Chan Pheaktra said. “It will allow for more patients to be seen and equally important, more education and training to occur. As Cambodia develops, education is the key component.”
At Monday’s inauguration, guests listened to speeches by Dr Pheaktra; Robert Gazzi, the chairman of the board of directors; Sang Riha, Siem Reap’s deputy governor; and Minister of Health Mam Bunheng.
Guests were then taken on a tour of the new department.
The hospital executive director Dr Bill Housworth explained that since the hospital’s opening in 1999, “its success was its failure” in that it had gone from seeing 20,000 patients a year to 120,000 last year.
He added that the former outpatients department had outgrown its capacity. “It was noisy, crowded, and you had patients waiting in the clinical area because there wasn’t enough waiting space outside. The treatment room was too small so you had children who were sick all bunched together. So we desperately needed to renovate and expand it.”
Not only has the new department allowed more patients to be seen, he said, but it has improved the quality of treatment.
“Before it was so crowded and noisy that honestly if you were a doctor in that clinical space, you couldn’t hear yourself think, much less hear a child’s heart or lungs,” he said.
“Now with the private rooms, a soundproofed ceiling and the flow of keeping patients out of the clinical area, the noise reduction has been great, the crowding has been reduced, and the chance of infectious diseases being spread amongst patients has decreased. We have isolation rooms now for infectious patients.
“All of the processes have been increased greatly, and I think they will serve the Cambodian community better than ever before.”