Some 8,727 patients received medical treatment under The National Social Security Fund’s (NSSF) healthcare programme introduced for civil servants this year.
In the first six months, the NSSF spent $14 million to provide a range of medical services to civil servants, retired public servants and military veterans – who were the core targets under the programme.
“The $14 million expense in the first semester [first six months] of this year is meant for all treatments and healthcare services,” said Sum Sophorn, NSSF deputy director.
Initially, the three categories were to pay 0.5 per cent of their salary for medical care but the NSSF decided to shoulder the full cost.
Under the scheme, civil servants – those in ministries, institutions and national and sub-national units – have access to 24-hour treatment provided by NSSF’s healthcare partners.
Patients can seek emergency treatment, medical consultation and pre- and post-natal care.
Sophorn said they encountered teething problems when the service was implemented in January, but officials managed to iron out the issues and the healthcare project is now functioning smoothly.
“When the service was introduced, there was some confusion, so hospitals and NSSF officials had to explain it to the patients. Overall the quality of the service is good.
“But initially, there were some minor problems pertaining to the attitude of health officials and patients,” he said.
Sophorn said the NSSF health card is being processed and these special cards will be distributed to about 500,000 civil servants by October this year.
“We will issue the NSSF cards once our working group completes processing them in October. Around 500,000 people, including civil servants, retired civil servants and veterans (military personnel) will receive it,” he said.
Pen Phalkun, the director of the Siem Reap Provincial Referral Hospital, which collaborates with NSSF, said they are burdened with a shortage of healthcare workers and infrastructure problems.
“We have received many poor patients and our hospital is almost full daily. We are short of staff and need more human resources to provide treatment.
“Moreover, people often come for treatment over the weekends and our operations are stretched. We rotate our staff on a shift basis and we need to be flexible, he said.
Phalkun said the hospital needs additional rooms for patients and also rooms to store medications.
“We hope to operate far more smoothly in the near future. We thought it is good to have a meeting with the service users and service providers, so we can provide quality healthcare for patients,” he said.