Three ministries issued have a joint prakas on Health Equity Funds for employees in the informal tourism sector.

The parkas, which was jointly signed on June 19 by Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth, Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng and Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng, became effective early last week.

“The owners or managers of enterprises in the informal tourism sector must prepare lists of the names of their employees. The lists should be submitted to the capital and provincial administrations for verification before they are sent to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) for registration,” said the parkas.

A joint press release explained that the policy was specifically aimed to improve health care for women working in bars, nightclubs, karaoke, beer gardens, massage parlours and spas.

The prakas said that employees who were not contracted in the informal tourism sector were still entitled to apply for NSSF cards.

Once they are verified by local authorities, the NSSF will register them and issue an NSSF card, which will be valid for one year.

The prakas explained that the cost of cardholders’ healthcare will be covered by the state. The National Social Protection Council (NSPC) is tasked with leading, monitoring and assessing the progress of implementing the Health Equity Funds.

It added that in case of emergency, card holders can receive treatment at the nearest NSSF-aligned medical facility.

Touch Kosal, president of the Cambodia Tourism Workers’ Union Federation, lauded the prakas, and requested that employers register their staff as soon as possible, so they can begin receiving health coverage.

“This is good news for employees in the informal tourism sector. They will be able to reduce the amount of money they spend on accessing medical treatment, so it will increase their ability to save money,” he added.

The government announced that it intended to offer access to public healthcare to workers in the informal tourism industry on June 12.