Remarks by Sean Callahan, Deputy Mission Director, USAID Cambodia, Dissemination Workshop on new Law of Regulation of Health Practitioners

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Sean Callahan and Village Health Support Group volunteers
Sean Callahan, Deputy Mission Director and Village Health Support Group volunteers

(as prepared for delivery)


I am delighted to join all of you today. My congratulations to the Ministry of Health and the Health Professional Councils who have worked with many to make this law a reality. I commend the Councils’ leadership and I encourage all of you to continue to work together to support the implementation of this new law.

The passing of this new law marks an important milestone. It demonstrates Cambodia’s commitment to strengthening health professions and ensuring the quality of health services around the country. It will also help the Councils by strengthening their partnership with the Ministry of Health - particularly the provincial government - and health development partners. 

How effectively this law will be implemented depends to a great extent on the collaboration and leadership of local government. I am pleased to see the Provincial Governor, Provincial Health Department, and other relevant provincial departments present here today. Your participation in this event is an important part of your commitment to successfully putting this new law into practice.

The importance of this law is evident in a number of events during my three plus years working in Cambodia. In late 2014, the HIV outbreak in Roka was linked to unsafe injections and infusions provided by an unlicensed healthcare provider. A little closer to home, one of our colleagues lost his life last year when he and his family sought medical care from a number of different private and public facilities that were ill equipped to deal with his life-threatening condition. That loss hit us hard and we can only imagine the suffering his family and loved ones must endure. These stories illustrate just how important it is for healthcare providers to be registered and licensed to ensure the safety of the Cambodian people.   

Regulation of health professionals is one of a number of key mechanisms that help to guarantee the quality and safety of a country’s health services. High quality health services, in both public and private sectors, are critical if a population is to be healthy and productive.

Building a stronger foundation for the regulation of health professionals in Cambodia will enable the Councils to support the Royal Government of Cambodia’s commitment as a member of ASEAN. An important goal for ASEAN is to improve the skills of health professionals so that they can work in many different countries in the region.

Skilled and dedicated health care workers, like you, are the cornerstone of the health system and USAID is very pleased to support the five Health Councils in partnership with the Ministry of Health. Currently, there is a real drive towards strengthening the regulation of all health professionals to protect the public. With the Ministry of Health’s leadership and support, we’re confident the Councils will be able to achieve this goal.

Together we can help the Councils establish a strong and responsive system of health profession regulation that meets the needs and cultural context of Cambodia. 

Let us work together to make that happen.

Thank you.

Battambang & Siem Reap
Issuing Country