Ministry of Health drafts minimum standards for all private facilities
The Ministry of Health – in collaboration with a number of organizations – is in discussion regarding the development of minimum standards of care for the licensing of private health facilities. The ministry is collecting input from private and public health service providers, with the aim of determining minimum standards that will be acceptable to all stakeholders.
According to its spokeswoman Or Vandine, the ministry works with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the German international development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and FHI360.
“It is important to develop these minimum standards, which take into account the quality of services of private health facilities across the country, the objective of the government and the Ministry of Health being to improve the health services provided throughout Cambodia,” she said.
Regarding the minimum standards, Cambodia wants to take a new step in the development of health services by raising the level of standards to an acceptable level both in Cambodia and internationally, she said.
“It takes time and this national consultation workshop is organized to review the proposed changes to the draft because the first draft is already out. But we need to get more contributions from private services as well as the state to complement each other to make our minimum standards acceptable to all when development reaches this stage,” she said.
She explained that once the document is finalized, a private health facility would have to meet the minimum standards set by the ministry if it was to operate.
Licenses for private health services issued by the Ministry of Health are valid for four to five years. Therefore, private services that are licensed based on these minimum standards must implement and practice them and the ministry would continue to monitor their compliance.
“Private health services must be able to upgrade to meet the standards because when they apply for renewal of their license after the first application and they apply for an extension, we will have an assessment based on our technical standards, which will be these minimum standards,” she said.
She added that licensing private services in the future would require them to meet minimum standards, which could start as early as next year.
Corrina Heineke, program manager for social health protection at GIZ, called on the Ministry of Health to find ways to speed up the completion of the Health Management Act.
She said the healthcare facility accreditation system and the issuance of minimum standard licenses for private healthcare facilities would ensure that people have access to quality healthcare with competent leadership.
“GIZ hopes that better improvements in healthcare partnerships will continue to provide additional support to complete the project to establish minimum standards for licensing private healthcare facilities in Cambodia,” said Heineke.
Lenna Neat Arango, acting director of the Office of Public Health and Education for USAID Cambodia, also said that these minimum standards would be a useful tool and will be important in helping Cambodia’s private health system measure, review and evaluate the performance of its private services. health sector.