Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap organised a two-day mourning ceremony for Dr Peter Studer, the CEO and vice-president of the hospitals, who passed away of illness last Wednesday aged 73.
The mourning ceremony was held on Friday and Saturday and was attended by doctors, staff and government officials, according to the foundation’s website.
Studer has been involved with Kantha Bopha hospitals in Cambodia since their inception in 1992 when he partnered with the hospitals’ founder Dr Beat Richner, who passed away in 2018.
For the past three years, he assumed the director’s role at the hospitals.
His services and achievements for the Foundation and the Kantha Bopha hospitals are immense, the website said.
“The foundation board owes him an enormous debt of gratitude and expresses its deepest sympathy to his wife Geneviève F Cattin-Studer and the bereaved family,” the foundation said.
King Norodom Sihamoni sent a condolence letter in French to the hospital.
Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng also wrote a letter to Cattin-Studer to share his sorrow.
“We lost an excellent husband and a brilliant doctor in Cambodia’s health sector,” Bun Heng said in the letter dated Friday.
Dr Michael Grotzer will oversee the foundation with the support of two other doctors who are also board members.
They will ensure the continuity of the hospitals as a model of high-quality, free child and maternal health care and help educate and train the Cambodian staff, the foundation said.
The chief operating officer of the hospitals Denis Laurent told The Post on Sunday that in the aftermath of Studer’s death, the foundation will elect two more vice-president on Tuesday.
He said the foundation has continued to receive a lot of support and donations from the public.
Prime Minister Hun Sen established another foundation – the Cambodia Kantha Bopha Foundation – to help support the running of the hospitals.
“This Cambodia foundation is helping a lot for the hospitals. In Switzerland, in the last three years, we’ve received a lot of donations, so we can go on normally,” Laurent said.
Five Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals, which have 2,500 Cambodian staff members, need $42 million a year as running costs.
Last year the hospitals treated more than 200,000 inpatients and more than one million outpatients, said Laurent.