Ministers Reject Siem Reap Hospital Land Deal

The Council of Ministers has re­jected any plans to swap or sell land currently occupied by the state-owned Siem Reap Provincial Hospital, Health Minister Nuth Sok­hom said Monday.

Government officials had been ne­gotiating the sale of 1.4 hectares of land used by the hospital to a pri­­­vate property development firm, a Belgian Technical Coo­per­a­tion official working inside the hospital said March 9.

Nuth Sokhom said he encouraged the Council of Ministers to re­­ject any sale of the land.

“The Council of Ministers agreed with what I said regarding this is­sue,” he said. “Everything is over.”

The site that had been under ne­go­tiation houses the Chronic Di­sease Clinic, the Infectious Di­sease Department, the Tuber­cu­lo­sis De­partment, Emergency Room and Re­ception, a training cen­ter built by the UN, an admin­is­trative building, and a Handicap In­ternational re­­habilitation center, ac­cording to Dr Georges Dalle­magne, co-director of BTC’s provision of basic health services in Siem Reap and Od­dar Mean­chey provinces.

Dallemagne said Monday he had heard the government had re­jected the sale, but added that he has not received written or oral con­firmation from the Health Min­istry.

“Officially it’s mainly because staff at the hospital” rejected the sale, he said, although he added that the Belgian Ambassador in Bang­kok also raised the issue in a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen late last week.

“Everyone hopes it will be the final decision,” he added.

Hospital staff last week said that the government was planning to re­locate the hospital buildings to a site about 15 km out of town. Such a relocation would have been too far for staff to travel, and some emer­gency pa­tients would have likely died in the ambulance on the way there, hospital staff said.

“Definitely this is excellent news for Siem Reap…. It’s very important that there will be no further de­­­cision to move the hospital,” Dal­­lemagne said.

Related Stories

Latest News