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Social protection in health: better health care for the people

Health care and social protection for Cambodians have improved during the last decade, but challenges still lie ahead in accessing quality health services. Areas that need improvement include maternal and newborn mortality as well as infectious and noncommunicable diseases. Our Social Health Protection Program supports the Royal Government to improve the quality of and access to health services mainly for vulnerable people and those living in poverty, using a multilevel approach of policy advice and practical implementation. Our efforts closely align with the Ministry of Health’s Strategic Plan and strengthen the capacity of national and sub-national institutions to improve the health care system.

We contribute to three existing social health protection schemes in Cambodia: health equity funds and vouchers for households with ID Poor Cards as well as voluntary health insurance for the near-poor. This gives people free access to health care when needed without the risk of impoverishment or other financial burden. With our contributions, we lay the foundations for a comprehensive social health protection system linked to systematic quality improvement in health care. We assist with the design of national strategies, clinical guidelines and tools, helping to promote sexual and reproductive health, patients’ rights and clients’ satisfaction and apply a mainstreaming approach to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities and the elderly. Germany further supports the Fast Track Initiative of the Royal Government of Cambodia to improve maternal and newborn health, access to family planning and pre- and post-natal health services. Nurses, midwives and doctors are trained on the job to provide quality services in our target areas. The joint efforts of German technical and financial cooperation address critical gaps in emergency obstetric care, family planning and sexual and reproductive health at community level, which are vital areas for improving women’s rights.

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