– Your Venerable Buddhist Monks;
– Your Excellency Fumiaki Takahashi, Ambassador of Japan to the
Kingdom of Cambodia;
– Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;
– Dear Compatriots,
Ten years ago, on 28 April 1996, my wife and I participated in the ceremony to handover diplomas to nurses, midwifes, biologists and physiotherapists in this Healthcare Technical School, which was called the “Central School for Health Leadership”. I still remember that the ceremony was held in the old-torn building made of steel and the roof and wall made of zinc located right over here.
Today, my wife and I are very pleased and honored to come to this place for the second time to joint you all in the opening of a new three-store building and other renovated three buildings supported by the grant assistance from the Japanese People and Government through JICA. Yesterday, I and H.E. Fumiaki Takahashi, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Cambodia and H.E. Juro Chikaraishi, JICA Resident Representative in Cambodia participated in the inauguration of a clean water system in Siem Reap, newly constructed with the grant assistance also from the Japanese People and Government. Moreover, today we are inaugurating a new achievement which testifies, among many others, our friendship, solidarity, long-lasting alliance and good cultural relationship between our two nations, Cambodia – Japan.
We always remember the contribution from people and government of Japan for the causes of rehabilitation and development of Cambodia. Such support is really important for the revitalization of Cambodia and the supports from people and government of Japan were so far priceless and were effectively utilized. For example, this building that equipped with modern facilities represents a great donation and benevolence from people and government of Japan to the Ministry of Health or specifically to the Technical School for Health Care, where the capacity is built for healthcare support staff such as nurses, midwifes, physiotherapists, laboratory specialists, radiologist, surgery assistants and specialist in health care such as anesthesiologist, mental-health nurses, scrub nurses, and the managers in healthcare services so on and so forth. Indeed, the assistance, the people and government of Japan provided, is to develop health sector facilities and resources to improve welfare of Cambodian people, thus contributing to improved productivity and ensuring long-term sustainable economic growth in Cambodia.
On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and myself, I would like to sincere thank people and government of Japan for providing such a great things and for their contribution to the economic and social development of Cambodia in responding to our needs for improved health and poverty reduction.
It is obvious that healthcare represents a major concern and priority in the social development program of the Royal Government of Cambodia.
Since 7 January 1979, the Royal Government has put its utmost efforts to rehabilitate and develop the socio-economic infrastructure in order to provide education and public health services to people, children and our young people. We established orphanage centers, education institutions at all levels, hospitals, referral hospitals and health centers. Specifically, we implement a six-disease vaccination program for children, the nutrition program, malaria treatment and the containment of HIV/AIDS spread. These efforts could claim the pride for the government and the World Health Organization who recognized Cambodia a success country in eradicating polio cases.
At the same time of leveling up government’s budget for social sector especially health and education sector, the government concentrate on major reform programs aiming at improve health sector that Cambodian could afford high quality services; because the sector is a major contribution to the overall national development, particularly economic growth and equitable distribution. In this regard, basic healthcare provision to Cambodian people, fiscal and administrative decentralization, human resources development, eradication and prevention transmitting diseases, for example HIV/AIDs, and strengthening health information system are the needy focus of the Royal Government.
Based on the health strategy’s targets, we have accomplished many things, but not at the level of satisfaction. The Royal Government recognizes that we are still facing many difficulties and deficiencies. In practicality, Ministry of Health channels funds to districts and communes, but outcomes are not as what we expected. Moreover, medical staffs at the provincial level do not meet the increasing demand, and health sector is lacking resources even though the government has increased more than three-fold of its expenditure allocated to the sector during the last three years. Seriously, poor families received very limited health services while the private health services are expensive. Thus, we have a lot of works to do in order to move forward. Taking this opportunity, I would like to urge the Ministry of Health and all hospitals to put more efforts and minimize any negative implications affecting the delivery of public health services. And, I would like also to appeal to all health officials to strongly commit to their professional ethics and morality, so that we can secure the success in implementing the Royal Government’s Health Strategy for 2003-2007.
I believe that these new building buildings, the donation from people and government of Japan for the Healthcare Technical School, would tremendously contribute to my ambition of improving health status of Cambodian people.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to make some recommendations and guidance for the Ministry of health and related agencies and to all health practitioners and related businesses as follows:
First – Response to the demand for healthcare and its supporting services. It must weight the immediate need with quality of services especially ensure the safety of client who obtain health services from nurse and midwife who just graduated. For example, to meet a needy midwife, we can train a primary midwife program for a year, but it should not neglect 3-4 years training program especially in the current situation that we prepare a mutual acceptance of health care and its supporting professions in ASEAN member countries.
Second – Student recruitment must provide high priority to rural students in order to ensure that after their graduation, they would return to their homeland. It must accept the fact that number of student must be suitable to school facilities and interned places.
Third – Prepare the direction in the future for students or nurse or midwife workers through training that profession to ensure the development in the field by introduce bachelor, master degree and likely bridge to doctorate.
Fourth – all projects and plan to beef up capacity should prepare base on rationality and serious analysis before seeking funding, for example, from development partners avoiding the random proposals.
Fifth – Health care and its supporting services practitioners work directly with people at the hospital, health post and community. Therefore, I would like them to commit to their professional ethics, because health services and human life saving are not only a dignified and highly moral profession, but it is also a great humanity acts. Moreover, health care and its supporting services practitioners must help themselves on their mean such as initiate to strengthen or establish profession association/ society for the sake of network with national and international institution for its successful development in the field.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Japanese company that has finished its construction work of a 3-story building and repaired works of a 3-story building as well as a lecture and a sanitary building on time with quality. This serves the purpose of promoting the training of health care supporting profession in the health sector to effectively progress.
At the same time, I highly appreciate and sincere compliment for the efforts and actions of leaders, civil servants, lecturers and staff of Technical School for Healthcare that fulfill its role in developing human resources with knowledge, know-how and good behavior according to professional ethics in order to develop national health sector.
Again, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all ministries/institutions, donor community, civil society, national and international NGOs who support the development of health sector in Cambodia. I would like especially to pay tribute to benevolence and humanity acts of people and government of Japan that provide support to this Technical School for Health Training.
Finally, I would like to wish you all with the five gems of Buddhist blessing. Convinced by a pleasant and strong believe of our good and close cooperation between Cambodia and Japan, I would like to declare the official opening of this Technical School for Healthcare.