In addition to the prepared text, Samdech Techo Hun Sen made selected impromptu recommendations as follows:
Taking this opportunity, to contribute some inputs to the conference and the preparation of health strategic plan for 2013, I would like to make the following recommendations:
First, the Ministry of Health must continue improving the implementation of the reproductive health program, and the maternal and infant health program and their respective action plans in order to accelerate the decrease of maternal and infant mortality rate by promoting pre-delivery health services for expectant mothers, …
Second, the Ministry of Health must intensify the implementation of programs to combat all kinds of infectious diseases by strengthening the measures to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and increase access to care and treatment services for leisure workers, …
Third, the Ministry of Health must further modernize hospitals, health centers, and health stations and all health service providers and promote the human resource development, increase instruments, medical materials and improve care and treatment techniques …
Fourth, the Ministry of Health must pay more attention to the preparation of work program and schedule for medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists, midwives, nurses “by ensuring that all hospitals and referral hospitals and health centers have stand-by medical doctors every day, every hour, even during public holidays” to ensure the all-time availability of health services …
Thousands of Good Deed Disappears for a Mistake
We all have already noted lately that despite thousands of good action and merit made, for one mistake, they all disappear. Look at the case of this woman who came for a delivery at the hospital and she ended up giving birth nearby the railway. That is very important point. In Khmer, we say ‘for a hundred ships of good actions, one mistake makes them all sink.’ The press has not brought about the numerous actions you all performed but singled out the one thing that you do not perform well. That is for what happened in Phnom Penh. There is other case in the province of Banteay Meanjei, where there was this report that anti-venin kept for the youth-student volunteers was not provided to the people who had been bitten by a snake. In fact, the youth-student volunteers did not know a thing about it and they would have helped the victim because it is part of their mission to help people.
We have to review the case and situation while building waiting rooms to provide service to people needed medical attention. If we have appropriate place and the midwife or medical staff has morale, they should allow patient to stay waiting for the delivery time. So please pay attention to this issue. That is why I remind you of a Khmer saying ‘for a hundred of ships of good actions, one mistake makes them all sink.’ For one person committed a mistake, they blamed everyone. It was not a constructive criticism but an irrational blame.
Fifth, the Ministry of Health must take firm measures by implementing them like drizzling rain and closely cooperating with all related ministries/institutions and all competent authorities in order to eliminate counterfeit medicines, substandard medical instruments and materials, illegal pharmacies and clinics, …
Sixth, the Ministry of Health must promote and encourage the private sector to participate actively in health sector development in order to fill the gaps by paying due attention to strengthening and expanding the coverage and quality of consultation, care and treatment services to be more comprehensive with full confidence from the patients.
Seventh, the Ministry of Health must continue the close cooperation with related institutions and other stakeholders to address jointly intersectoral challenges such as the impact of climate change, catastrophes and the associated effects on human health …
Bird Flu Preventive Measures
I wish to add a few things about bird flu, which has caused human death. We have started a large campaign in the media and health network to address this issue and bring the concern and preventive measures to the people. Though it has now calmed down, we should not and shall not neglect the threat. We must continue to hold on to the task and control the situation. According to the report of HE Chan Sarun, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the disease does not cause any more death. I believe, however, that this threat has yet to go away and we need to continue to make effort to prevent this disease. The disease, while it starts in other countries, it could spread to Cambodia. Though starting in Cambodia the disease can go to other countries too. We need to go on monitoring it.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all media outlets, radios and TVs, for producing and presenting spots that provide education on bird flu H5N1 to the audiences. I think this effort should go on. With systematic cooperation among all institutions concerned, whereby the Ministry of Health plays key role in making diagnosis and providing treatment, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will contain the affected area and look for solution right on the spot.
Warning of Natural Disasters
I would also take this opportunity to appeal to people everywhere to pay attention to effects of the climate change lately. We have noticed that so many abnormal weather conditions and calamities happened in many countries in the world. Particularly, in Cambodia, in the past months and weeks, early rain and air gusts destroyed hundreds of houses. I urge the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology to stay focused and monitor the development to provide our people with information as to where the wind gusts would happen so that our people could take preventive measures. This is especially so when in some areas people need to travel across the river or move about in the sea. The weather pattern has grown unpredictable.
Blood Donation – Solidarity and Pride
I would continue to appeal to the people and youth to continue to donate blood to save lives. I already made an appeal before. I notice with great satisfaction with the movement of our people, especially the youth, in donating blood at the National Blood Donation Centre. The establishment of the blood bank like the one made by the youth in Kandal province is one good way in dealing with need for blood. In fact, this blood bank is like a community where people depend on each other for blood. If anyone among their members needs blood, someone from so and so family in the community would give his or her blood. The family provided with blood would do so in return when people in the donating family need it. If the donating family does not have any problem, they could give the donated blood to someone else who may need it. I hereby place my appeal to the youth that anyone fit to provide blood, may donate it for those who need them.
I strongly hope that our people and youth are generous to donate their blood for good cause and for increasing stock in the blood bank. That would help our effort in rescuing human lives. No matter whom the blood is given to, the person who gives it will benefit merit in return because it saves life. I am so happy that people, especially youth, responded positively to my appeal several years ago.
Health Service and Infrastructural Development
I have drawn attention of those concerned during the review meeting of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports about the fact that there is an urgent need for education service in areas where the Royal Government provides people with their new land titles. We learnt about the need altogether from a brief survey in Kratie province. We have discovered that providing people with land titles is not a complete solution. We need to address four more issues – roads, water for consumption and irrigation, health service and schools.
We need to address the four issues, health service in particular, so that our people will have confidence for their durable settlement. They would build bigger houses and operate regular business. While providing the people with land titles, it is also important that we have to provide them with necessary infrastructures that are crucial support to their daily business and cultivation. They would not have a good life if where they live has access to no roads, no healthcare service, water and educational facility.
Transport and Communication – Key to Health Sector
We need to learn about healthcare service needed in certain geography. We may need to start with having one health centre per village, for example, to bring the response close to the people’s demand. First of all we should conduct a survey to find out in these new settlement areas, where is best to place this type of service. We could even call it health post in the village to provide basic help to the people. The health issue is not an issue isolated from other needs. It is one among others in the clustered requirement for development.
For instance, the road and bridge construction also plays important role in ensuring efficiency of the health service. You may agree with me that if we have ambulance fully equipped with medical standard materials and tools, but with poor road condition, how could it reach the place that needs its service or how could it bring the sick in time to hospital? It is in this tremendous need that the Royal Government will have to save money every year not for increasing salary for its officials but addressing these needs as a priority. We have to balance between the whole forests and every single tree.
In order to ensure healthcare service efficiency, we need to have better hospital and medicine. However, whether the sick could make it to the hospital in time or not is key. As you understand this has called for a systematic improvement. Even information technology plays a great deal of help in health issue, take for instance consultation through telephone or even VDO conference due to long distance between the sick and the expert. That is why I am saying all these sectors are doing a great deal for healthcare improvement.
For the sake of our consumer’s health, people should not use too much chemical fertilizer in their cultivation. Everything interconnects as a system. As a ruling Party we cannot afford to single out one dimension while neglecting others at all. To give so and so amount of salary would not be a sole concern here. Investment in other needs would also ensure to the good health and of related sectors.
Health, Education, Agriculture and Women
I am so glad that I have made it my 34th time to preside over the health review meeting. Some of you may still remember that the first review meeting held along with the reopening of the University in the Faculty of Medicines. I was then Foreign Minister. I later set it my priority to attend the review meeting of three Ministries – Health, Education and Agriculture. Take for instance I already did it for education, today for health and late April the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
I have designated Deputy Prime Ministers to attend review meetings of other ministries because I do not have time. However, I also place high priority for the National Council for Women because not only do I participate and make a speech but also carefully listen and make recommendation for them as well. I am asking for other ministries understanding that I could not make it to all of the review meetings.
Health Professional Code of Conduct
There is one issue that I am requesting the Ministry of Health to pay special attention. You may learn that my first child died of broken backbone as the nurse slipped him through. It was unprofessional act and carelessness. The same should not have happened. Take for instance the case of this woman who, after going back home from the hospital, gave birth to her child in an area near the railway. The news came to my wife. Together with so many charitable persons, my wife took the matter seriously. I heard that she named the kid Sen Samnang since what happned has brought the news to my wife. I urge professional code of conduct for mother and childcare so that altogether we minimize the mortality rate of the mothers and children./.