Healthcare Exploration: Healthcare System

In the first term of the exploration, we are focus generally in the healthcare system in Cambodia. In this exploration we’ve been to many of the health-related organizations and public and private hospital to gather their perspectives on the current Cambodian’s healthcare system. In this first round we try to gather as much as possible of the general informations about the healthcare system in Cambodia. The outcome of that is that we will chose our individual route that we are interesting in after hearing the perspectives from those doctors. So for the next round I want to focus more into science within health sector. Where I want to learn and research more about the medicine, the scientific one and the traditional one, moreover I want to know where do we get the ingredients to make medicine. Beside that I want to work with health-related organization volunteering to educate other people about health.

Specifically, on the 28th of September, the Healthcare Exploration went to an open-house at the University of Health Sciences (UHS). We registered in three different departments: Public Health, Dentistry, and Pharmacy. Specifically, in dentistry, we’d been toured to different labs, and meet their 7th-year students who were practicing dental care.

In the Public Health department, we were given an overview of what is public health, since it is a new major offered in 2013. Then, we heard the story of success from their first graduate and a student who is reaching the end of her bachelor study and were led into the information room. There, booths were set for participants to interact, ask questions to the students who study there, and read the research paper done by the professor and founder of the degree. Then, lastly, open house ended with them giving a tour of their library and study spaces.

University of Pharmacy is part of the UHS, and the pharmaceutical course has the most hand-on learning experience than any other medical department. There are three different types of classes, theoretical, laboratorical learning that practices theories learned, and researching. There are labs such as: DNA extraction from pathogens, plants identification, substance extraction, household-use products production such as hand soaps and soap bars. Some places require us to wear lab coats due to the risk of biohazard and contracting diseases. However, the most interesting part of this opening event is, learning that the university values the Khmer traditional medicine; instead of brushing it off due to its lack of scientific proof, one of the main lessons is focusing on understanding the science behind the traditional treatment, and uses the discovery to improve the modern medicines.

Fun Fact: Unlike the other universities in Cambodia, this university administer their tests digitally; where each student would have to answer a set 60 randomized questions within an hour.

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