Construction on $35 Million Hospital Set to Begin in April

Construction on Phnom Penh’s first international-standard critical-care center is expected to begin in April, and when completed it will offer state-of-the-art medical technology and highly trained staff, according to an official with the Japanese firm in charge of the project.

“[Construction] is supposed to start from April or May 2014,” Mihoko Nakayama, overseas project manager for Kitahara Neurosurgical Institute Japan, said Monday.

Ms. Nakayama said the hospital, which is part of the larger Japan-based Kitahara International Hospital group, will be built in the city’s Chroy Changva commune, across the Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge, and will cost about $35 million.

It is the first time an official with the hospital group has provided details about the project since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the initiative during his visit to Cambodia in November, but gave few details.

Ms. Nakayama said the lack of medical infrastructure here and the high demand among Cambodians for better medical care were the main reasons Kitahara decided to open a hospital in Phnom Penh.

“Since development of medical infrastructure is left out of the rapid economical growth of the country, people in need of medical care who have the ability to pay, go abroad to receive treatment. On the other hand, many people who are poor cannot receive enough medical care in their own country,” she said.

The hospital will offer emergency services, neurosurgery, general medicine and medical checkups, Ms. Nakayama said.

She added that the hospital will help train local staff in modern medicine.

“What we are trying to do here is not only to establish a hospital but also to train the local medical professionals and try to raise the medical [competency] of the country,” she said.

“Japanese doctors and other medical staff will be dispatched in the beginning, but we are sure that we need to train Cambodians to sustain international medical standards. We will emphasize medical education before and after the establishment of the hospital,” she continued.

The hospital is expected to open by April 2015.

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