Prime Minister Hun Manet has explained that improvements in the healthcare sector, both in Cambodia and the rest of the world, requires more expenditure on health services. What his government is trying to do is reduce the amount spent by people, while providing better services.

He noted that this is the goal of the Roadmap towards Universal Health Coverage 2024-2035, launched this morning. 

He added that it remains a fact that, no matter whether in Cambodia or other countries around the world, that the cost of healthcare remains high. The Kingdom is trying to keep people’s out-of-pocket expenses to a minimum.

“The cost of medical services must inevitably go up, otherwise hospitals cannot afford to buy medicine, or invest in better equipment to provide modern treatment. Increasing costs are a global trend. What we need to ensure is that individual’s expenses do not get too high,” he said.

The prime minister added that private spending must not be allowed to exceed 35 per cent of the total healthcare expense. In 2020, the private expenditure was over 60 per cent.

He explained that the 35 per cent goal can be achieved by many means, such as through The National Social Security Fund (NSSF), for which self-employed individuals pay nearly $4 per month, and through private health insurance.

Aun Pornmoniroth, Minister of Economy and Finance, said the government invested $573 million in the healthcare sector in 2023, a three-fold jump from the $226 million spent in 2013. This excluded government support for those holding ID Poor cards and other social support systems.

He added that this budget will be increased, to provide greater medical support, through effective, efficient provision of services.

He explained that at present around 7 million people, or around 41 per cent of the Kingdom’s population, are covered by public health coverage. The 12-year goal of the roadmap is to increase this figure to 80 per cent by 2035.

The out-of-pocket expenditure of the public is on track to remain below 35 per cent by that time, added Pornmoniroth.