21 Aug Kantha Bopha
Foundation Children’S Hospitals
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!
After receiving his medical degree in 1973 he specialized in paediatrics at the Zurich Children’s Hospital. In 1974/75 he was sent to Cambodia by the Swiss Red Cross (SRC) to work at the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital. His mission came to an abrupt end when the Khmer Rouge invaded the country. Dr. Richner was forced to return to Switzerland, where he took up his former position at the Zurich Children’s Hospital. In 1980 he opened his own practice in Zurich, which he shared with a fellow practitioner.
Kantha Bopha I, the first hospital
In December 1991 Dr. Richner was asked by the King Norodom Sihanouk and the Cambodian government to rebuild and manage the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital, which had been destroyed during the war; once again, his life had taken a sudden turn, and he accepted the job. In March 1992 he created a foundation in Zurich, moved to Phnom Penh and began with the reconstruction work. On 2 November 1992 Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital was back in operation. Over the following years the hospital was progressively extended and modified to meet the most urgent needs of its patients. Kantha Bopha is the name of King Sihanouk’s beloved daugther, who died of leukemia in 1952 at the age of 3.