Phnom Penh (FN), May 23 – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet announced that the modernization of health services shall extend beyond Phnom Penh and affluent individuals, reaching rural areas to ensure accessible, high-quality, and affordable healthcare for everyone.

The premier spoke on Thursday (May 23) at the launching of “Roadmap for Global Health Coverage in Cambodia 2024-2035” at Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel.

"Improving healthcare quality is pointless if people cannot access it. We must enhance access, especially for the poorest, rather than concentrating services. Modernisation should not be limited to Phnom Penh and the wealthy, while rural areas are neglected,” the premier underlined.

Samdech Thipadei underscored that the Royal Government is committed to enhancing local health services in accordance with its policies. Alongside improving healthcare quality, the government is focused on increasing service availability by establishing health posts, health centres, district referral hospitals, and strengthening provincial and national hospitals. The plan includes modernising services and delivering comprehensive care to the provinces through regional hospitals. In the first phase, regional hospitals have been built in Siem Reap and Kampong Cham provinces.

At the same time, the Royal Government also prioritises affordable healthcare services, Premier Hun Manet added. As quality healthcare extends to the grassroots, it must be accompanied by reasonable pricing or state assistance at various levels. This goal is crucial for strengthening human resources and health, ensuring the development of quality health services, expanding their reach to the grassroots, and guaranteeing sustainable access for all citizens.

Samdech Thipadei continued, "On these three fronts – quality, accessibility, and affordability – the government has implemented comprehensive policies and actions. Firstly, regarding quality: Over the past 40 years, significant investment has been made in healthcare. As highlighted in the report by Minister of Economy Aun Porn Moniroth, the health sector remains a top priority for investment. In 2023 alone, our investment in health will increase to approximately 2,300 billion riels, equivalent to USD573 million. This investment is directed towards strengthening health infrastructure, modernising equipment, enhancing drug quality, boosting local achievements, reinforcing ethical standards, advancing human resource development, and fostering the growth and involvement of the private sector, both domestically and internationally. These efforts are crucial for advancing public health."

On the occasion, Samdech Thipdei expressed gratitude to partner organizations and countries for their invaluable support in developing the healthcare sector. In previous meetings with ambassadors and institutional leaders from various countries, Samdech Thipdei consistently prioritised discussions on enhancing local-level health services and quality, aligning with the Royal Government's policy objectives.