Cambodia’s policy-makers more focused on quantity rather than the quality of healthcare facilities

May public figures & high-ranked government officials in Cambodia seek medical treatment overseas inclusive of their Prime Minister ‘Hun Sen.’

Bearing this in mind isn’t surprising at all to see many locals often distrusting the local healthcare facilities.

Cambodia has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

In the last year, the country witnessed another year of 7 percent Gross Domestic Growth, and these such trends have resulted in an increase of the national health as well as raised living standards.

In spite of this rapid development, an increasing number of people have started to go abroad for accessing healthcare services.

The total number of outbound Cambodians who traveled for medical purposes & vacations in general increased from 1.2M in 2015 to 1.4M in 2016, out of a population of 15.76M.

Around 24 to 30 percent of the Cambodian tourists traveled to Thailand & Vietnam for such purposes.

Still, no comprehensive set of statistics probing the total number of Cambodians seeking medical care in foreign countries is currently available.

According to the marketing director of the heart center at Phyathai 2 Hospital in Bangkok, Jiaranai Boonprasatsuk, Cambodians are the topmost nationality amongst foreign patients who received medical treatment at the hospital in recent years.

This is a concern which needs to be addressed considering the negative implications for the national healthcare system.

The Health Strategic Plan 2016 to 20 unveils that there are around 8,000 private healthcare facilities or providers & 1,000 public healthcare facilities across Cambodia.

This seems to infer that policy-makers focus more on the number of healthcare facilities rather than the quality of care being provided there.

These health facilities, in reality, have a lack of sufficient human capital & resources, which inhibits them from meeting the needs & expectations of the population.