The number of people accessing healthcare services at local health facilities through the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) increased by more than 80 per cent in the first six months of 2023, if compared with the same period last year, officials said.

In addition, nearly 50,000 self-employed individuals have recognised the value of the programme and registered for the fund in the past four months.

“From the NSSF launch in 2016 until end-June, a total of more than 14 million people had accessed healthcare service nationwide, more than 10 million of them women,” said NSSF deputy director-general Heng Sophanarith.

He told The Post on September 24 that in the six months, 2.2 million people used health services through the NSSF, an increase of about 83 per cent over the same period last year.

He attributed the significant rise to the increasing number of members, which he suggested was down to a combination of widening the fund’s scope to include the self-employed and a growing awareness of the functions and benefits of holding an NSSF card.

“The more people enjoy high-quality non-discriminatory service at our partner healthcare facilities across the Kingdom, the more other people understand its value and come forward to use the service when they get ill or injured,” he added.

In response to the increasing number, the NSSF intends to expand its partnerships to provide even wider coverage.

“There are many self-employed individuals who have now registered as members. From June to September, almost 50,000 of them signed up, increasing the number of people accessing healthcare wih our partners. In the near future, the NSSF will expand our coverage area with both public facilities and the private sector, in order to strengthen the quality of the services we can provide,” he explained.

To date, the NSSF has signed agreements with 1,520 health facilities, including eight national hospitals, 132 referral hospitals, 1,253 health centres and 136 private hospitals, according to Sophanarith.

SokSrey Roth, a self-employed member of the fund, recently received services at a health centre through the NSSF. She said she was satisfied with the service she received, which was free of charge.

Roth said she was relieved, explaining that in the past she had spent a lot on medical treatment.

“Since I registered, I have used the health checkup service once. The service is available 24 hours a day, which is good. I would also like to thank the fund for providing us with free medical treatment. Before I had the membership card, I spent a lot on healthcare,” she said.

Since April 1, self-employed people have been able to register with the NSSF, with a monthly contribution of just 15,600 riel (around $3.80) per month. Once they have made two months’ consecutive contributions, they are able to access healthcare at any of the NSSF’s partner facilities.