Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - India health sector aims to bring in Cambodian patients

India health sector aims to bring in Cambodian patients

An Indian pharmacist pulls out a box of medicine from a shelf at a drug store in Bangalore.
An Indian pharmacist pulls out a box of medicine from a shelf at a drug store in Bangalore. Manjunath Kiran/AFP

India health sector aims to bring in Cambodian patients

Indian companies in the pharmaceutical and health care sector are seeking to enhance their footprint in the Kingdom by extending beyond pharmaceutical trade through state financing that could establish a direct link to bring Cambodian medical tourists to the subcontinent.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Advantage Healthcare India 2017 – a summit for medical travel held annually in the southern Indian city of Bangalore – Sandeep Majumdar, president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia said that $36 million of last year’s total bilateral trade of $160 million was related to the health care industry.

While health care trade is predominately limited to the import of pharmaceuticals, he said that Cambodia has been identified by the Indian government as a country that has a potential pool of medical tourists.

The state-owned Export-Import Bank of India has already prioritised funding for India health care operators to expand into Cambodia, he added, noting that the demand for quality specialised services in the Kingdom was on the rise.

“Indian hospitals have many specialised services that are not available in Cambodia and that are cheaper than what patients pay in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam or Thailand,” he said.

Apollo Hospitals, which launched a representative office in Phnom Penh in August of last year, is currently the only medical tourism operator trying to bring Cambodian patients to India. However, Majumdar added that numerous Cambodians have travelled to India for serious medical procedures like liver and kidney transplants.

Heng Vichet, managing director of Meet Heng Cambodia Ltd, a company that imports pharmaceuticals and medical devices from India, said that Indian drugs are of high quality and more affordable for the consumer.

“The trend of consuming Indian medicines in Cambodia will keep increasing as its quality is becoming more recognised and the price is affordable,” he said, speculating that the pharmaceutical import market in Cambodia had an estimated value of $800 million annually.

MOST VIEWED

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget