About Kantha Bopha
From 1992 to 2007, Dr. med. Beat Richner opened five children’s hospitals in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Angkor.
The Kantha Bopha hospitals take care of about 85% of all the sick children in Cambodia. 80% of the seriously ill and hospitalized children would not have a chance of survival without these hospitals.
All the treatments are free of charge. 80% of the Cambodians are without any means and 80% of patients come from families with a daily income of USD 1.00 or less. It is simply impossible for them to pay!
The annual running costs are now 43.5 million USD. Kantha Bopha's cost-healing ratio is the best worldwide according to international evaluations.
The contributions of the Cambodian government amounted to 6 million USD in 2017. Since February 2017, the foundation has been receiving a contribution of 2 USD for each tourist visiting the world-famous temple grounds of Angkor Wat. The yearly contributions by the Swiss Confederation have remained at 4 million CHF since 2017.
In 2017, more than half of the budget was financed from donations from Switzerland. In the future, we are still urgently need donations from Switzerland and hope for the continued faithful support of our many valued donors. Thank you very much!
Only 5 % of the total funds are needed to run the infrastructure of the foundation in Switzerland. So the people and children of Cambodia fully profit from your donations.
A mere 5% of the hospitals’ funds are spent on administrative tasks. In order to avoid the traditional, cost-intensive hospital management and the bureaucracy that goes with it, we have allocated those tasks which can be dealt with locally, including logistics, to those members of the medical staff who have the necessary administrative skills..
No corruption and a right to proper medication
All of the 2,500 Cambodian staff at Kantha Bopha earn a modest living on which they can get by (something which is not possible on the usual salary of 20 USD paid to local staff in Cambodia). By paying our staff a wage they can live on, we have found a way of successfully fighting corruption, which is otherwise widespread in Cambodia.
To this day there have been no thefts at the hospital, no cases of medicine simply vanishing into thin air rather than being administered to the patient in need. The hospital operates 24 hours a day, and part of our staff is working shifts. No money is taken under the table from patients’ families, and none of our staff has to rely on a second job outside the hospital in order to make a living. Medical care is freely available to all children and Kantha Bopha represents the only chance to get any medical care at all.
It is our belief that every child has a right to proper medication.This, in turn, can only be achieved with the assistance of modern and fully functioning equipment, proper and effective medicine, and sufficient disposable medical material, all of which has very little indeed to do with luxury, and even less with first-class medicine.
University and government hospitals
The Director and doctors of Kantha Bopha Hospitals are regular professors at the Medical Faculty in Phnom Penh. In 2017, 1,007 medical students completed their internship in our hospitals in the departments of paediatrics, surgery and obstetrics. The nursing college, which is affiliated with the Medical Faculty in Phnom Penh, sent 416 interns to the Kantha Bopha hospitals. Additionally, assistant medical technicians are trained in the laboratory and radiography.
The training and further education of the Cambodian doctors is provided by the Medical Director of the University Children's Hospital Zurich, Prof. Dr. med. Felix Sennhauser, a Foundation Board member, and by other specialists both domestically in Cambodia and abroad.
Since 1994 (when only Kantha Bopha I existed), Kantha Bopha has been a department of the Health Ministry. This is of great importance for the long-term continuation of Kantha Bopha, its structure, the decent salaries for its 2,500 Cambodian employees and its policy of corruption-free, cost-free treatment for everyone
and cardiac surgery in Cambodia
The mortality rate in 2012 was only 0.35%. 20% of the children who die in the intensive care units are heart cases. This is why interventional cardiac catheter and open-heart surgery were introduced to the Kantha Bopha hospitals. In 2012 ten missions were carried out by the French cardiac response team of Prof. Dr. Gerard Babatasi (Chalne de l’Espoir), and three interventional cardiac catheter missions were successfully conducted by Prof. Dr. Oliver Kretschmar, Head of Cardiology at the Children’s Hospital Zurich. Since then, a Cambodian team has been performing PDA (patent ductus arteriosus) interventions with a large degree of independence. The interventions are described in an article entitled “Interventional and cardiac surgery in Cambodia” published in the renowned journal “The Lancet” dated 31 March 2012. There is also a close co-operation with the “Institut Pasteur” in Cambodia. Dr. Olivier Kretschmar visits his Cambodia colleagues in Siem Reap twice a year.
The Kantha Bopha hospitals serve as a model for poorer countries. In addition, they ethically support justifiable family planning, as figures show. Mothers in Cambodia know that when their child is seriously ill, they can take them to the Kantha Bopha hospitals for free. They no longer have to give birth to ten children or more for fear of losing every second child. As a result, mothers giving birth in our care nowadays seldom have more than 3 children. Our maternity ward delivers approximately 79 births per day (with expecting mothers coming from all regions of Cambodia). Thanks to the outstanding obstetrics of our maternity care, only one mother dies in every 16,000 births.
Kantha Bopha is an unparalleled success story in the health care sector around the world. Since 1992, the Kantha Bopha hospitals have treated 16.3 million sick children as outpatients; 1.9 million seriously ill and injured children have been hospitalized and fully cured.