Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals
In 1992 the Zurich-born children’s doctor Beat Richner (1947–2018) opened the first children’s clinic 'Kanta Bopha', Phnom Penh, in war-riddled Cambodia. In the meantime there are five children’s hospitals in which more than 85% of Cambodia’s sick children receive highly qualified medical treatment free of charge. 2001 saw the opening of a maternity hospital in Siem Reap Angkor.
The organization, built up by Dr. Richner in a country marked by corruption and bitter poverty, is an outstanding example for international development cooperation. The hospitals built up and financed by Dr. Richner’s foundation have since become university clinics in which medical staff are trained for the whole of Cambodia.
This relief institution is invaluable – facts and figures speak for themselves. In 2018 alone, the five children’s hospitals (in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap Angkor) and the maternity hospital in Siem Reap Angkor achieved the following results:
- Outpatient treatments of sick children in the polyclinics: 961,256
- Hospitalisation of seriously ill children: 161,424
- Surgical operations: 27,321
- Births: 28,748
- Heart operations: 459
Kantha Bopha hospitals are so efficient that they have the best cost/healing ratio in the world.The mortality rate in the children's hospitals was 0.23% in 2018.
For health reasons, Dr. Beat Richner handed over the management of the hospitals in the spring of 2017 to his companion of many years and deputy Dr. Peter Studer. On 9 September 2018 this remarkable humanitarian ambassador of Switzerland returned to the world beyond. The Zurich children’s doctor leaves behind an exceptional lifetime achievement. With his unceasing and unselfish commitment he brought medical care and healing to millions of children in Cambodia over the past 25 years, as well as relief to countless afflicted families. His accomplishments will also be a blessing to the future of the country. According to the foundation 'Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals', the continuity of the clinics is secure. Over the past 25 years, Dr. Richner has trained an entire generation of doctors who, together with the 2,500 staff members, will continue to handle the daily rush of some 3,000 sick children in a disciplined and well organized way.