Sunrise Japan Hospital Phnom Penh has expanded emergency services and added a new pediatrics wing.
The hospital, which opened in 2016, is a top-level medical facility with state-of-the-art equipment. Its newly opened pediatrics wing, a colourful addition outfitted in animal decals and toys, can comfortably accommodate 20 children. Opened just a month ago, the wing is already serving an average of 5 to 10 children a day, from infants to 16-year olds.
Dr. Manabu Okawada, a pediatric surgeon with 15 years of experience in Japan – including eight years outpatient experience as a pediatrician – said he is looking to spread awareness about the importance of pre-emptive healthcare for children.
“In Japan, we have problems with childhood obesity and other development issues, but early check-ups can help prevent those problems,” he said. “I want to sit with Cambodian parents to discuss health check-ups and care for their children.”
He explained that the hospital has a unique approach influenced by its Japanese roots, which includes use of natural and herbal medicine, high levels of attentive care and extended talks with families to clarify all aspects of any check-up or operation.
“Other hospitals prescribe a lot of medications very quickly, giving patients antibiotics and painkillers when they are not necessary,” he said. “Here, we don’t want to prescribe anything unnecessarily.”
Okawada added that Sunrise currently collaborates with other Japanese clinics in the Kingdom, and plans to begin working with Cambodian hospitals on raising awareness about health issues in the near future.
“Over 50 percent of the kids who have come to this facility so far have been to other countries for medical care in the past, as medical tourists,” he said, adding that it was a positive thing that these children now have a nearby hospital to attend to their needs.
Every month, Sunrise Japan Hospital plans to host an event during which 25 pre-registered families can tour the pediatrics facility, have their children learn about the importance of hand washing and nutrition and watch their kids role-play as doctors with stethoscopes in hand. The first tour was held last month, and the next is scheduled for February 25.
According to Takehiro Kozuma, deputy clinical director at Sunrise, the outreach programmes have been working: while the hospital originally saw at most 30 patients a day upon opening, it now welcomes as many as 150 patients each day.
Sunrise continues to expand its emergency services, which he said was an important feature for a hospital in a city that has a high level of automotive accidents and head trauma. The hospital is also equipped with an extensive rehabilitation centre for patients recovering from head injuries.
“Overall, our facility tends to focus on neurology and treating head trauma,” Kozuma said. “More than that, we like to focus on a culture of care here – we have conferences to discuss patients’ well-being twice a day, we sit eye-to-eye with our patients as we talk to them and we explain everything to them step-by-step.”
He added that the doctors also always discuss price with patients prior to care, to ensure there are no hidden fees. Prices for care are reasonable, with packages for health check-ups that monitor brain, heart and colon health ranging from $120 to $480.
Though the hospital primarily serves Cambodian patients, it is also able to accommodate foreign patients and members of the staff speak English, Japanese and Chinese, he added.
“In the future we’d like to keep expanding, and extend our services in gynaecology specifically, which we think Cambodia really needs,” Kozuma said. “I really think we can make a difference here.”