Phnom Penh (FN), Jun. 12 – Exciting news for residents of Dangkor District! The Phnom Penh Capital Administration (PPCA) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Cambodia Office have announced a groundbreaking project to significantly upgrade healthcare services in the rapidly growing district.

Dangkor's booming industrial scene and proximity to the new Ta Khmau International Airport have fueled a population surge, which translates to a growing need for quality public services, especially healthcare. Recognizing this critical need, the PPCA requested support for the improvement of Dangkor Referral Hospital last year, and KOICA has agreed to undertake the project.

On 11 June 2024, Phnom Penh Governor, Khhoung Sreng, and KOICA Cambodia Office Country Director, MoonJung Choi, signed the Record of Discussion for the "Project for Improvement of Public Health Services in Dangkor District Referral Hospital, Phnom Penh, Cambodia." This document specifies the project's objectives, key details, and responsibilities of both parties.

The project boasts a remarkable USD 11 million budget, earmarked for a brand-new hospital facility and cutting-edge medical equipment. This vital support will elevate Dangkor Referral Hospital to the forefront of healthcare, enhancing the quality of services and strengthening the emergency trauma care system. Medical staff will benefit from capacity-building programs, ensuring they can deliver the best possible care to the community.

Thanks to this incredible partnership between the Cambodian and Korean governments, Dangkor Referral Hospital is poised to become Phnom Penh's first CPA 2-level hospital. This translates to a significant leap in the level of care available, ensuring Dangkor residents have access to the advanced medical services they deserve. Furthermore, by alleviating the burden on the overstrained national hospitals, which draw patients from across the country, the project is expected to benefit not only local residents but also patients who seek care at these national hospitals Consequently, this project will serve as a role model for other health facilities in Phnom Penh in terms of quality service, referral system, and management plan, aligning with the Royal government's Pentagon Strategy - Phase I and relevant health policies.

KOICA is a bilateral grant aid agency of the government of the Republic of Korea. Since its opening of Phnom Penh Office in 2003, KOICA Cambodia Office has implemented various development cooperation programs in education, health and rural development sectors.

Public health, in particular, is the most urgent and important sector for improving the quality of life of the Cambodian people. KOICA has allocated USD 89 million in the health sector, accounting for 23 per cent of its total support. This includes establishing ophthalmology and ENT hospitals at Preah Ang Duong Hospital in Phnom Penh and enhancing the infrastructure and capacity of specialized medical personnel at the National Pediatric Hospital through three projects, including an ongoing project worth USD 16 million. These efforts have expanded the treatment capabilities in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, addressing areas previously beyond the scope of treatment or surgery.

KOICA also implemented a maternal and child health service improvement project targeting Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri, the northeastern regions with the most deficient public healthcare services. As a result of this support, five maternal and child health centers were established including those at Ratanakiri Provincial Hospital and Kho Nhek Referral Hospital in Mondulkiri. Additionally, maternal and child health equipment was supplied to health centers throughout the region, and healthcare personnel received systematic training in obstetrics and pediatrics through domestic and Korean invitational training programs. Outreach services were provided to underserved areas, along with support for raising awareness among residents. As a result, residents in these regions now have access to better healthcare services.

Additionally, KOICA implements non-communicable disease (NCD) management projects targeting Prek Pnov District in Phnom Penh and Thmar Koul District in Battambang. Through these projects, it has supported raising awareness among local residents, promoting NCD prevention activities, and enhancing the capacity of referral hospitals and health centers, thereby playing a pioneering role in the Cambodian government's efforts to strengthen NCD management.

Regarding these efforts, the new project to enhance the capacity of Dangkor Referral Hospital's public services represents a new challenge for KOICA in expanding the scope of its efforts. In addition to supporting national hospitals and local public health facilities in other provinces, this project aims to support the upgrade of the first CPA1 hospital to CPA2 in Phnom Penh. By supporting the referral hospital on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, this project will serve as a catalyst for the development of the health sector in Phnom Penh and also pave the way for more collaboration between KOICA and the PPCA for better life of Cambodian people.