Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Health care access to expand

Health care access to expand

Garment workers buy medicine in Phnom Penh last year. Garment workers and other formal sector employees in and around the capital will have expanded access to health care starting in May.
Garment workers buy medicine in Phnom Penh last year. Garment workers and other formal sector employees in and around the capital will have expanded access to health care starting in May. Hong Menea

Health care access to expand

An estimated 360,000 workers in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Kampong Speu provinces are set to get access to health care coverage from May 1 in the first round of an expansion of the National Social Security Fund.

Under a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen in January, the mandate of the fund – which includes more than 900,000 Cambodian workers and operates under the Ministry of Labour – is expanding to provide health insurance in addition to workplace injury insurance.

Under the new scheme, a worker contribution of 1.3 per cent of their gross monthly salary will be matched by employers, said NSSF spokesman Cheav Bunrith.

For a worker on an average wage, that will translate to about 6,000 riel (about $1.50) to 7,000 riel (about $1.75) per month.

“Compared to other countries we have the lowest [contributions],” Bunrith said.

At this stage, officials are still finalising contracts with state hospitals and a private hospital to provide coverage, Bunrith said.

However, once rollout was fully operational in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Kampong Speu, the scheme would expand by five additional provinces at a time and eventually cover the whole country, he said.

Of the estimated number of workers included in this round, about 250,000 were garment and footwear workers, said Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia deputy secretary-general Kaing Monika.

Oun Sreytouch, a 30-year-old garment worker at Win Shingtex factory, said that she could afford her contribution, but wished it was lower.

“Garment workers do not have [much] money,” she said. The minimum wage for garment workers is currently $140 per month.

Monika maintained the workers’ contribution was affordable. He cited Thailand’s rate of about 5 per cent.

“It’s just a few hundred riel a day and it provides extensive medical coverage for the workers,” he said.

The insurance scheme covered preventive health care, treatment and sick leave, said Ath Thorn, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union.

Overall, it was good for workers, Thorn said. But added that “some workers are happy, but some are not because they don’t understand” all the details.

MOST VIEWED

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Nod given for school exams

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport announced that State-run higher educational institutions can hold examinations to end the academic year, while private schools can organise grade 9 and grade 12 examinations at their premises for two days. However, private institutions have to take measures to prevent

  • Kingdom’s exports to US mushroom 25.94% in first five months to $2.4B

    Though Cambodia’s exports to other countries have been stalled amid the evolving Covid-19 environment, the Kingdom’s shipments to the US were worth 25.94 per cent more in the first five months of this year than they were in the year-ago period. Bilateral trade between

  • Oz lauds Kingdom’s passage of money laundering laws

    In a press release published by the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh on Monday, the country applauded Cambodia’s stance on transnational crimes as well as its promulgation of an anti-money laundering law and a law on combating proliferation financing. The praise came after King

  • Lotus face masks designed to cover globe

    A French designer in Cambodia has produced ecological face masks from lotus fibre to supply local and international markets with an eye on preserving ancestral techniques and supporting Cambodian women in rural communities. During a trip to Asia, Awen Delaval, an eco-friendly fashion designer, was

  • Accused not treated equally, says CCHR

    The Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) has urged the Court of Appeal to do more to ensure that an accused’s right to a fair trial is fully respected. In a bulletin released on Monday, the CCHR said it had monitored 273 cases at the