(last update 29/02/12)
Surgical interventions: 33,363
The Italian NGO Emergency arrived in Battambang in 1997 to provide free surgical care to the victims of antipersonnel landmines.
The local authorities entrusted Emergency with an acre of land where the association would open a hospital after about a year, equipped with an emergency department, an outpatient unit, 3 operating theatres, 3 wards totaling 106 beds, intensive care unit, physiotherapy, laboratories and blood bank, radiology, pharmacy, offices and service rooms, and a school for young patients.
Right from the very beginning the Centre became the reference point of the entire area for surgical emergencies and the treatment of patients injured by landmines. As time went by, the Centre expanded its activity including plastic and reconstructive surgery and traumatology in order to face new emergencies.
Emergency has always offered free high quality treatment to everyone who needs it through the sole support of the donations of Italian private citizens.
During the years, the general conditions in Cambodia and in Battambang have much improved. The country is going through a phase of development and has substantial international aid.
Considering this situation and in view of the results achieved by the hospital in terms of operational independence, two years ago Emergency asked the Cambodian authorities to provide concrete support in the management of the hospital, which is the only center specialized in traumatology throughout the whole province.
Emergency asked the Cambodian government for recognition of the role held by its hospital, asking the Ministry of Health for the concession of economic resources and for the possibility to receive surgeons or trainee doctors specializing in surgery which Emergency would train during a 3-year specialization course and internship in trauma management.
The Ministry of Health's response was negative: even though it recognized the value of the work carried out by Emergency, the government did not want to support the activities of the Surgical Center, declaring the Provincial Hospital as the reference center for treatment of trauma.
Emergency offered its contribution in the training of surgical staff to the Provincial Hospital, but its offer of help was not taken into account.
The scarce cooperation of the Cambodian Ministry of Health, after 15 years of work, prompted Emergency to re-evaluate the advisability of its intervention in Battambang.
In the past months, Emergency has been contacted by a Japanese foundation which got news of Emergency's intention to leave the hospital in Battambang to the Cambodian authorities and they showed interest in taking over its management.
The Cambodian Ministry of Health accepted the offer and Emergency declared its availability in facilitating the handover.
From March 1 the management of the hospital inBattambang will no longer be in the hands of Emergency, but in those of the Handa Foundation.
Emergency is proud of its work in Cambodia: over 140 thousand people have received free treatment at the Surgical Center in Battambang, over 250,000 were treated in the 5 First Aid Posts opened by Emergency in the district of Samlot whose management was definitively transferred to the Cambodian authorities in 2009.
Last but not least, Emergency is proud to have worked alongside the Cambodian staff, transferring medical and nursing knowledge and technical, managerial and administrative skills essential to the prosecution of the hospital work up to a high standard of quality and useful to the future of healthcare in the country.