A senior Ministry of Health official announced that a draft Primary Health Care Booster Implementation Framework (PHC-BIF) for Cambodia is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. The implementation will be rolled out across the Kingdom in stages.

The announcement followed a two-day consultative workshop on the draft framework late last week.

Or Vandine, ministry secretary of state and chair of the Primary Health Care Booster Taskforce, said the draft was based on lessons learned from the Kingdom’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. She noted that the participation of individuals, families and communities were key factors in the response.

“In the next 10 to 20 years, we expect our people to change their habits and lifestyles so they are healthier, and to promote the responsibility of individuals, families and communities for primary healthcare,” she said.

“Initially, we will select five locations – which may be villages or communes in just four or five provinces – which the team will use as trial rollouts, so we can adapt our techniques if necessary,” said Vandine.

The next step would be to expand the campaign from each village and commune until the programme had been introduced into whole provinces.

“As we expand the programme, we will be carrying out constant evaluations using our ‘Do, Adopt and Archive’ approach,” she said.

She added that the final stage would include implementing the programme nationwide.

“We project that we will have achieved nationwide implementation of the primary healthcare programme by 2030, although we are still in the very early stages. We only began drafting the policy at the beginning of this year,” she said.

“We expect to have the framework prepared by the end of the year, but in fact our progress has been so good that I think October may be a realistic goal for its completion,” she added.

At the September 2 workshop, health minister Mam Bun Heng said the health sector has made significant progress, especially in maternal and child health – including immunisation – and has also reduced infant mortality rates.

Bun Heng said the PHC-BIF framework is an excellent way to achieve universal healthcare coverage and sustainable development goals.

“It will bring key healthcare services closer to communities and people in need, such as the poor and vulnerable. That was why the working group to manage the programme was established earlier this year,” he said.