Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Free care for Team Cambodia athletes: PM

Free care for Team Cambodia athletes: PM

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian boxer was injured during his fights with his opponent. CHHORN NORN

Free care for Team Cambodia athletes: PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Ministry of Health to prepare several hundred beds at the Techo Santepheap National Hospital so any of Team Cambodia’s athletes who are injured while training or competing will be able to access free treatment.

The newly-built hospital, which is slated for inauguration later this year, will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and staffed by a large team of medical specialists. Located on an 8ha site on the northwestern outskirts of the capital, in Prek Pnov district’s Kouk Roka commune, the hospital will be able to accommodate up to 11,000 patients.

Hun Sen gave the instruction to minister Mam Bun Heng and ministry secretary of state York Sambath as he expressed concerns about the welfare of the Kingdom’s athletes.

“In the past, many footballers and boxers faced financial difficulties after injuring themselves. In fact, my wife has had to support several boxers herself. If a person is injured while striving to bring glory to Cambodia, we should take care of them,” he said in a social media post on February 15.

“After contemplating my concerns, I spoke with Bunheng and Sambath, and instructed them to prepare a ward with 100 to 200 beds to treat athletes. The treatment should be conducted by the appropriate medical specialists, and no fees should be charged,” he added.

Hun Sen considered the policy a morale boost for Team Cambodia, as they prepare to win medals at the upcoming 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, hosted for the first time by the Kingdom.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Techo Santepheap National Hospital, located on an 8ha site on the northwestern outskirts of the capital, in Prek Pnov district’s Kouk Roka commune, is slated for inauguration later this year. PHOTO SUPPLIED

“I have told the ministry to expedite this work. Should the worst occur, I urge all athletes to seek treatment at the Santepheap hospital,” he said.

The announcement of the free medical care was met with jubilation by the Kingdom’s sporting federations and athletes, for some of whom unexpected medical costs were a constant fear.

Vath Chamroeun, secretary-general of the Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC), said many of the Kingdom’s sporting federations had been considering establishing similar programmes for injured athletes, but the premier’s announcement meant they could now dedicate themselves to preparing for the May games.

“Thiswill provide massive encouragement to the athletes of Team Cambodia, especially the boxers and kickboxers. In my experience, they are the ones most likely need treatment, usually for concussions or broken bones,” he said.

Cambodian boxer Sen Radeth, who claimed a silver medal in Vovinam at the 31st SEA Games in Vietnam, expressed joy in his comment on the premier’s Facebook post. “Not having to worry about the cost of injuries allows us to focus more on our training.”

Kim Srun Kosal, president of Mas Fight Cambodia, said this will greatly encourage the growth of sports in the Kingdom.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm

  • Manet touches down in Beijing for high-level meetings

    Prime Minister Hun Manet arrived in Beijing on September 14 for his first official visit to China, where he is slated to attend the 20th China-ASEAN Expo and meet other leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping. Upon his arrival, Manet laid a wreath at the Monument