I cheered as I read your article “Children’s Hospital to get Extra $2M From Gov’t” (September 3). According to the article, Kantha Bopha Children’s hospitals will receive an additional $2 million on top of the $3.2 million already committed by the Cambodian government for 2015.
The central theme of the U.N.’s third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), health, is universal health care. It says it wants to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” By supporting the mission of Kantha Bopha hospitals, the government of Cambodia is demonstrating its commitment to the ideals embodied in the SDGs.
With a gross national income per capita of $1,010 in 2014, Cambodia is considered a low income country by the World Bank. As such, to expect a fully government-funded universal health care system would be unreasonable. Indeed, for reasons that are not just economical, universal health care is out of reach for many other countries as well, both rich and poor.
The barriers are many and complex but, nevertheless, the pursuit of safe, essential, high-quality and free/affordable medical and surgical care to all who need it is a moral imperative, and Cambodia has taken a step closer to this goal.
Kee B. Park, country representative, World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies