… I would like to take this opportunity to express once again my deep thanks to Oknha Mong Rithy and Mr. Luk Kingting, Director of Program Actions for Love from Hong Kong for their joint collaboration in the construction of these buildings. These buildings cost a lot of money to get constructed, but what is more valuable is the provision of equipment, instruments and medicines which according to Mr. Kingting’s report cost one million and nine hundred thousands US dollars in the year 2002. It is quite unfortunate that we have to distract our efforts to resolve problems that arise from health situation like HIV/AIDS, while they should be concentrated on rural development. What concerns us the most is the fact that women are being transmitted with this virus from their husbands. It is a prime issue that requires us to seek a solution.
… HE Tep Nunri has recalled that long ago this hospital was a hospital for lunatics. But we do not offer lunatic treatment in this place anymore. It has now transformed into a hospital that provides general health service and treatment, including also eye-care and treatment service. Just now Oknha Mong Rithy recalled also that this place used to be slum and has been filled with new soil. I would suggest further that a good road should also be constructed. If we have a nice room for patients to stay for treatment but a slippery condition outside the building, it would not be responding to the health standard. Building infrastructure is a difficult task but what is more difficult would be the maintenance and sustainable operation of the hospital. I used to mention this point with HE Minister of Health. Like I once talked about physicians turn massagers. Because they have no medicines to deal with the diseases, the remaining option for them was to massage their patients. From now on we should not let this incident happen in any clinics at all.
… According to the request from the Hospital, I have suggested to Mr. Luk Kingting to provide an ambulance and three sets of computers. If there are more patients to provide care to, one more ambulance should be provided.
… There is another issue that I would like to take the time to mention a bit. Some studies indicate that there are various reasons that ownership has been changed/transferred from one person to another in Cambodia. But the prime reason was sickness. Because someone in the family is falling ill, either a husband, a wife or a child, the family would be obliged to either sell out or mortgage their land. This would in the end lead to a transfer of ownership reducing them to landless farmers. That is why in our prioritized policy is to redraft a new agenda on social welfare with a pinpointed focus on the people’s health. Take for example we have decided to transform the headquarters of the General Staff that was built and used since the time of the French colony into a big hospital. The war is over in Cambodia at the same time that Pol Pot died out. What is left for us though is another war against poverty of our people.
… I used to talk about the step of a frog. In this hospital as well as in other chief clinics in the rural area, we have to take into consideration the possibility of making use of solar energy. I have instructed Dr. Sath Sami and HE Minister Suy Sem to conduct a study on the project to provide light in rural clinics or hospitals so that the energy can be used to preserve vaccines and lighting up. We should provide this facility step by step every year like a frog step. The Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy has put out its study already. Since the studied cost of each set of solar equipment would range between US$ 6,000 and US$ 7,000, it would be better if we set up a public auction. The costs could in fact be improved because there might have companies that could provide a cheaper price with similar quality and duration of use of equipment. This would increase further transparency.
… A number of roads in Kandal province, especially in Takhmao town, are still full of potholes and bumpy as the local authority is waiting for disbursement from the Ministry of Economy and Finance. I would like to declare today that they must be renovated as starting from this day. According to an estimate there might need about Riels 2,200 million. I order the construction to be financed and the roads have to be done before the Khmer New Year. The construction site must be opened the soonest possible and if there is a problem of financial difficulty, it is possible to seek for loans. The condition of the rebuilt roads has to be guaranteed and the companies implementing the projects would be held responsible in paying back the money if they failed to provide roads according to the required standards. I have instructed that all roads within 80 kilometers around Phnom Penh to be renovated. Take for example the road out of Phnom Penh to Kompong Chhnang is being renovated and the part towards the city of Kompong Chhnang being constructed. May I reiterate that we should speed up the construction as in 2002 Cambodia will host many national and regional events. 2003 will be a tourism year. Like this point of (Bassac) river before Takhmao town could be developed into a tourist site as we may organize ASEAN Boat Racing Competition. Let me emphasize that the roads must be asphalt and should last till 2010 before a reparation is necessary.