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

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,