David Treal, managing director for AG Cambodia, is a specialist at guiding his expat clients through the complexities of health care in Cambodia, especially during a crisis.
“If there is a health emergency or a traffic accident where someone is seriously injured, my clients can call me directly,” he said. “We offer 24/7 service and it is critical that I help them make their decisions promptly. Most of the doctors here know me and know my office. I monitor a clients situation from the beginning to the end of treatment.”
During an emergency, Treal coordinates directly with the hospitals, doctors and the authorities so that his clients get proper medical attention at Phnom Penh’s best facilities.
“Unlike in Western countries where they have free health services, we do not have that in Cambodia,” he said, adding that the importance of health insurance cannot be understated.
“Although the health care facilities have vastly improved since I first came to Cambodia, the costs have nearly tripled in the last five years. It is quality care, but without health insurance, it comes at a cost,” he said.
Established in 2006, AG Cambodia was the first licensed broker in Cambodia. Operating as an agent for Asia Insurance, a general insurance company that has offices in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, Treal stresses the importance of having a network outside of Cambodia.
“We also provide medical evacuation services that will bring patients to Bangkok or Ho Chi Minh City if needed,” he said.
Whereas Cambodian hospitals are adept at treating a variety of ailments and injuries, they remain ill equipped to handle severe cases of dengue fever, strokes, heart attacks, cancer treatment and traumatic brain injuries, he explained.
For these situations, Treal provides a few options. He coordinates with doctors and foreign hospitals to gauge the patients ability to fly commercially, or, under extreme circumstances, he facilitates medical evacuation support.
Treal has built trust and reliability within the expat community over the last nine years. And, by being at the forefront of the industry, he has witnessed a shift in his clientele.
“I have seen more and more families coming to me looking for insurance plans. It is a big part of my business,” he said. “In the last couple of years, there have been an increasing amount of expat families who decide to live, work and raise children in Cambodia.”