Hun Manet, a future prime ministerial candidate for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), said that strengthening the capacity of the healthcare system is necessary, but that the public also have a duty to prevent disease.

While addressing a graduation ceremony for students of Kampong Cham University, Manet – currently deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and commander of the Royal Cambodian Army – remarked that prevention is always a better solution than a cure.

“Improving the treatment that is available to people is necessary, but more attention must also be paid to preventative measures. There are several factors that must be addressed in both of these areas,” he said.

He added that increased public education about health issues and healthy choices was important, and also called for improved enforcement of food safety laws and the regulation of the pharmaceutical industry.

“Medical staff must pay close attention to their patients and should ensure that they only prescribe the correct medication. Of course, patients must follow the instructions given them by medical professionals, in order for medicine to be effective,” he added.

Separately, Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng urged the municipal health department to work closely with local authorities to improve the provision of healthcare services throughout the capital.

Speaking at the March 28 opening ceremony of the health department’s workshop, Sreng praised its medical staff for their excellent work during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The department should be cooperating with district health authorities to carry out inspections of all hospitals, health centres and private clinics, to ensure that they are legally registered. They should also make sure that the staff are qualified for their roles and that the premises adhere to the hygienic standards that we expect,” he continued.

According to department director Ngy Mean Heng, there are currently seven referral hospitals, 43 health centres and seven emergency clinics, with a total of 1,392 health officials and medical staff throughout the capital.