Business representatives on Wednesday visited Siem Reap Provincial Hospital to conduct a land survey, renewing fears that the government plans to sell the hospital, Eam Pun, the hospital’s deputy director said.
On March 9, a Belgian Technical Cooperation official based inside the hospital revealed that government officials were planning to sell the hospital, which is situated on prime real estate, to a property development company.
After protests from staff and an appeal by the Belgian ambassador in Bangkok, the Council of Ministers rejected the plan, Health Minister Nuth Sokhom said on March 14.
A host of international aid organizations have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars developing facilities in the hospital to treat the province’s impoverished population, health officials said.
The men who visited the hospital Wednesday told Eam Pun that they were from Chhoeun Chanthan company, Eam Pun said.
“They measured without asking my permission. I am worried about sales, but if senior level [officials] sell it, I don’t know what to do,” he said, adding that staff are strongly opposed to the sale.
Nuth Sokhom was in a meeting with NGO officials on Wednesday and was unable to speak to a reporter. Sim Son, Siem Reap provincial governor, denied the hospital was back on the market.
(Addi-tional reporting by William Shaw)