Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Health budget boost planned to help poor

Health budget boost planned to help poor

With the costs of health care on the rise, Health Minister Mam Bun Heng yesterday revealed plans to increase public health funding in order to provide greater medical coverage for those unable to afford it.

The ministry will increase spending while also improving the disbursement of funds and using money more efficiently in order to expand programs such as the Health Equity Fund, according to a summary released during the ministry’s annual two-day conference, which began yesterday.

The Health Equity Fund, which is funded by the government as well as development partners, provides subsidies to poor and vulnerable people, such as the elderly and disabled. However, no specific details on the funding increase were provided.

More than 3 million impoverished people currently receive government-funded health care, according to the report. “Increasing the budget for health care is really needed to ensure that everyone, even the rich or the poor, get health care services when they need them,” Bun Heng said during the meeting.

The amount of money that people were spending out-of-pocket for health care was high, Bun Heng said, and most were seeking care in the private sector. That could cause low-income families to fall deeper into poverty, he said.

The increased funding would allow the continued development and improvement of health service delivery to all citizens, so that they could get medical care regardless of their income and where they live, according to the report.

Cambodia was named as one of 37 countries where 6 per cent of the population could be pushed further into extreme poverty due to out-of-pocket health costs, according to a 2015 report by the World Health Organization.

Dr Ly Sovann, spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said the government increases public health funding every year to help the poor.

According to the Ministry of Health report released yesterday, households across the country covered more than 40 per cent of the total health care costs expenditures.

Meanwhile, 1.7 per cent of families in the country fell into poverty in 2014 due to health care expenses. That figure was down from 2.5 per cent in 2007.

Dr Momoe Takeuchi, the World Health Organization Cambodia’s acting health system team leader, was not available for comment yesterday.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Bodies of Cambodian peacekeepers returned to Kingdom

The bodies of four Cambodian peacekeepers killed by a Christian militia in Central African Republic were repatriated to the Kingdom and honoured in an airport ceremony on May 21.

Phnom Penh eats: Ptas Nak Battambang

As the name suggests, Ptsa Nak Battambang – which in English means Battambang's house – is the right place for those who want to try some of the province's typical dishes in Phnom Penh.

Military police stand guard outside a polling station that was allegedly prematurely closed to eligible voters during the 2013 general election in Kandal province. Photo supplied

The Ministry of Defence on Friday lashed out at civil society and election monitoring groups, claiming a

Opposition leader Kem Sokha uses his hat to gesture to supporters during a campaign rally yesterday in Siem Reap province. Facebook

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday threatened to unleash war on the opposition party if he loses patience with their campaign for the June 4 commune