Cambodia is, as a whole, unfortunately lagging far behind its neighbours Thailand and Vietnam in providing good quality medical care. The good news for visitors to Siem Reap is that the situation here is better than in rural areas of the country. There are now some reasonable quality hospitals that have been built for two very different reasons. Foreign investment in the case of the Royal Angkor International hospital which is part of the Bangkok Hospital group, this is the best quality hospital around here and it’s a good idea to take a note of their emergency number, which is 01223 5888. Cambodia doesn’t have a standard national emergency number like Americas 911 so in case of an accident you have to contact them directly. This hospital can offer emergency treatment and can patch you up in the case of minor injuries or even broken bones, but simply lack the facilities for serious injuries. If you have travel insurance they will organise a medical evacuation to a more advanced hospital in Bangkok or Singapore. It’s extremely important to have adequate travel insurance as the cost of such flights can top $30,000. If injuries are less severe, they could send you by ambulance on the road to Thailand.
The other hospital in Siem reap is the Kantha Bopa Children’s Hospital, which was built for very different reasons. It is the vision of one man, Dr Beat Richner, who was working in Phnom Penh at the time of the revolution leading to the Khmer Rouge seizing power in the 1970s. He felt an affinity for the people and it became his life’s work to rebuild the healthcare system, starting with his former hospital in the capital and later expanding to the one here. So if you are travelling with children and they become sick, this is the place to take them because they really are the experts in pediatric medicine, as they have treated thousands of Cambodian children over the years, and all for free relying on donation for most of the funding. They will treat anyone under 15 years of age and will appreciate a donation from non Cambodian citizens.
This part of the world is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and this gets worse during the rainy season which is when they breed. Luckily the town itself is not considered to be risky for malaria, although visiting some of the outlying temples poses a risk. There is sometimes the possibility of Dengue fever, also spread by mosquitoes, but this disease tends to be an occasional outbreak, which you will be well aware of if it happens because of the extensive news coverage it will get. Take the usual anti mosquito precautions like wearing spray, covering arms and legs at dusk, and keeping screens closed on the windows.
- Royal Angkor Hospital 01223 5888
- Pachem Dental Clinic 013 838 303
- Kantha Bopha children’s hospital