BBC: The founder of the world’s earliest public health system?


Head of the ‘presumed’ portrait of Jayavarman 7th, Guimet Museum

So this is what I have recorded from one of Dr. Peter Sharrock’s speeches to the BBC Forum:

“Jayavarman the 7th invented the first national health service. He constructed in the opening years of his reign: 102 hospitals, a very precised number of staffs, medical staffs, support staffs, cooking staffs, physiotherapists and so on were appointed to each one. We excavated large numbers of them in Northeast Thailand in particular. The hospitals were set outside of the city, so the ill people can be brought to them, and away from the noise of city life to be taken care of by professionals. They were supplied on a 3 months basis with medicinal herbs and the inscription of one of the temples in Angkor gives exactly the amount of each herb and medical products; they used gold and mercury for instance that were delivered to each hospital on a quarterly basis and the most expensive items came from the king own depository of pharmaceutical service. It gives you an idea of the humanity of this empire too. Outside each hospitals, those inscriptions from the king saying: everyone may enter here.”

Or you can listen to the original tape here: BBC: The founder of the world’s earliest public health system?

Or the full forum here: BBC: Cambodia’s ancient Khmer Empire which is 44 minutes long. The forum is hosted by Bridget Kendall who talks about Khmer history with Prof. David Chandler (emeritus professor of history at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia), Dr. Swati Chemburkar (architectural historian from the Jnanapravaha Art Centre, Mumbai, India), Dr. Kyle Latinis (anthropologist at Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore) and Dr. Peter Sharrock (art historian from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, England).

I have seen the above tape (short one by Dr. Peter Sharrock) circulates recently on social media but not in its original form but a translated one by online media. I won’t judge the validity of the translation, but I suggest you listen to original tape.

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About តា ម៉ាប់

ខ្មែរ​ម្នាក់​ដែល​រស់​ដើម្បី​ខ្មែរ ! A young Khmer with big ambition for his motherland!
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