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PM unveils 12-year plan for universal health coverage

In a significant stride towards ensuring equitable healthcare access for all citizens, Prime Minister Hun Manet has officially launched the Roadmap for Universal Healthcare Coverage in Cambodia 2024-2035.

The announcement was made at the Sokha Hotel in Phnom Penh, and underscores Cambodia’s commitment alongside member countries of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to provide quality healthcare without imposing financial barriers on citizens, aligning with global Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr Hun Manet outlined the meticulously detailed 12-year plan, emphasising its three core objectives: expanding social healthcare coverage to encompass 80% of the population, up from the current 14%; extending essential health services to cover at least 80% of citizens; and reducing out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare to 35% of citizens’ total health expenditures.

“The health and well-being of our people is crucial for Cambodia’s socio-economic development,” said Mr Hun Manet.

He underscored the government focus on human capital development, prioritising efforts to reduce non-communicable diseases and enhance reproductive, maternal, child, and infant health.

Recognising the interplay between health and education, the Prime Minister emphasised the importance of quality, accessibility and affordability of healthcare services.

He stressed the necessity of working out mechanisms to subsidise healthcare costs to strengthen human capital and improve health outcomes for everyone across the nation.

Mr Hun Manet urged relevant ministries and institutions to collaborate effectively to implement the ambitious new roadmap, emphasising the need for accountability and efficiency.

He delegated authority for the project to Aun Pornmoniroth, Minister of Economy and Finance, asking that he oversee and coordinate implementation of the roadmap through a designated subcommittee.

In response, Pornmoniroth affirmed the government’s resolute commitment to develop and enhance public healthcare.

He highlighted the substantial progress that Cambodia has achieved already in healthcare investments over the past three decades, as medical expenditures reached approximately $573 million in 2023, nearly tripling by comparison with 2013.

Pornmoniroth pointed out key indicators reflecting advancements to healthcare programmes in Cambodia, including a significant rise in essential healthcare coverage from 24% in 2000 to 58% in 2021.

Moreover, life expectancy in Cambodia has seen a notable increase from 59 years in 2000 to 76 years in 2021, while out-of-pocket spending on healthcare has decreased from 70% per instance in 2000 to around 60% in 2021.

Cambodia has seen the remarkable progress it has made in public health extending to both maternal and infant health, with maternal mortality dropping from approximately 437 per 100,000 live births in 2000 to 155 in 2022, while neonatal deaths declined from 37 for every 1,000 live births in 2000 to only eight in 2022.


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