Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Labour Ministry denies claims over NSSF faults



Labour Ministry denies claims over NSSF faults

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Garment workers receive treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh after a series of faintings in 2012. Vireak Mai

Labour Ministry denies claims over NSSF faults

Officials from the Labour Ministry’s National Social Security Fund (NSSF) have denied allegations that its partner clinics offer poor medical treatment and discriminated against garment workers who checked in using the NSSF-issued ID card.

NSSF said in a statement that the facts were being “distorted” and dismissed claims that garment workers did not receive good-quality medicines or proper care compared to those who paid for their hospital visits. It also denied rumours that the cards would be discontinued shortly after the July 29 elections.

“We wish to clarify to the public and garment workers holding NSSF cards that there is no difference in the treatment and medicine provided to them or paying customers at any partner hospital,” said an NSSF statement dated June 10.

The statement also said that NSSF cards will not have an expiry date and that if an NSSF cardholder heard others distorting the facts, it should be reported to the authorities so legal action could be taken.

Chhea Vino, a union chief at Top Summit factory in Phnom Penh, said his union has received several complaints from workers who used the NSSF cards.

“We used to receive complaints from workers that those who paid for treatment received faster and better services. Medicine that is given to patients was also of poor quality and not effective, forcing them to seek further treatment at private clinics,” he claimed.

Vino said the NSSF’s “clarification” mattered little because the complaints are real.

Ath Thon, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers’ Democratic Union, said his members had heard that NSSF services are “not good”. However, he admitted that there is no clear evidence of this.

“NSSF should not be angry or threaten legal action. They should investigate to determine whether the claims about poor quality are true. And if true, improve the quality to make it better. How can you improve the situation if you restrict people’s criticism?” he asked.

Kul Than, 38, who has been working at Top Summit factory since 2013, said during her menstruation last month, she lost a lot of blood and a friend took her to an NSSF partner clinic for treatment.

She claimed that after she was checked in with her NSSF card, she was told to wait for treatment because it was the staff’s dinner time.

“After waiting for 30 minutes, I was told to go to another hospital because no doctor was available. When I heard that, I felt very scared because we came to get help from a doctor,” she said.

As of press time, NSSF spokesman Cheav Bunrith had not responded to The Post’s requests for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants

  • Time to Rise by rapper, chapei legend is viral hit with ancient-modern mix

    Kong Nay is known internationally as the master of the chapei dang veng, a traditional Cambodian instrument resembling a long-necked lute or guitar with two nylon strings that he was already playing professionally by the age of 15. Nay is sometimes referred to as the Cambodian