Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Health Ministry weighs in on letter of criticism

Health Ministry weighs in on letter of criticism

Health Minister Mam Bunheng (pictured) yesterday released a statement defending the ministry’s work across the nation.
Health Minister Mam Bunheng (pictured) yesterday released a statement defending the ministry’s work across the nation. Pha Lina

Health Ministry weighs in on letter of criticism

The Ministry of Health yesterday jumped to defend itself in response to a reader’s letter published in Post Khmer that was critical of the ministry and the health sector, overall.

The ministry’s open letter said it was clarifying information published in the letter written by fourth-year international relations student Sin Sopharith.

Sopharith, echoing widely held complaints, was critical of poorly trained doctors, patients being priced out of care, private clinics not being properly equipped and the ministry not being effective in its work.

The ministry’s statement, without addressing most of the specific issues raised by Sopharith, insisted it was working diligently to improve the health situation in Cambodia by speeding up the reduction of maternal and child mortality rates and reducing deaths caused by non-communicable diseases.

For example, it said the child mortality rate in 2014 dipped to 170 for every 100,000, compared with 472 in 2005. In 2015, malaria deaths decreased to only 10, compared to 135 in 2010.

“We show the facts,” Health Minister Mam Bunheng said, explaining the statement.

Sopharith was also critical of corruption and nepotism in the ministry. In May, the Post reported on evidence of fraud and corruption at the ministry’s National Malaria Centre.

Bunheng yesterday said the Anti-Corruption Unit was looking into those allegations. However, ACU chief Om Yentieng yesterday declined to comment on the matter.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Mr Pancake or M Crepe? Tasty by any title

    Crowds of people gather around a lone man with a mobile food cart every day at around 2pm in front of the Institut Francais du Cambodge to order what many say are the best crepes in Phnom Penh. To some – even to the man making

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Phnom Penh condo market loses steam

    Just four new condominiums were launched for sale last year in the capital, down from 17 in 2020, according to research by CBRE Cambodia. The four developments comprised “more than 1,000” units, while the 17 in 2020 consisted of 10,866, the real estate firm reported. CBRE Cambodia categorises condos as “high-range”, “

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused