Sunday, July 10, 2016
Cambodia - Chronic Illnesses Covered by NSSF
Fourteen chronic illnesses will be covered by the National Social Security Fund’s (NSSF) health insurance program, according to a Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MLVT) directive issued this week.
Among a host of other ailments covered by the insurance will be, cardiac failure, cardiomyopathy, chronic hepatitis B, chronic hepatitis C, chronic renal disease, cirrhosis of the liver, coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus types 1 & 2, dysrhythmias, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, systemic lupus erythematous, hypertension and thalassemia – they all will now be covered for workers registered with the NSSF’s plan.
“The NSSF must be in charge of providing proper services for the chronic diseases mentioned in article two in this prakas,” the directive reads.
NSSF Deputy Director Sum Sophorn told Khmer Times that ensuring the new coverage will not be an issue. But he added that there is a limit to the amount of hospital care workers can receive under the NSSF’s plan.
“We cover registered workers by giving them a package for when they fall sick. And the hospitals sign agreements that accept that package. If sick workers stay in the hospital too long beyond the limit of the package price, the hospital will let them know that they have to pay the extra costs with money from their own pockets,” Mr. Sophorn said.
Workers in Phnom Penh as well as Kandal and Kampong Speu provinces are eligible for the NSSF’s healthcare plan at a cost of 6,000 to 7,000 riel per month.
Other provinces will have access to the healthcare plan in the near future, Mr. Sophorn added. Workers in Preah Sihanouk, Svay Rieng, Kampong Chhnang, Takeo and other provinces will soon be eligible for coverage, with optional coverage available to the entirety of the Kingdom’s manufacturing workforce by 2018.
Kaing Monica, the deputy secretary general of the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), previously said the NSSF healthcare insurance program was an important step for Cambodia to keep pace with the developed world.
As of now, 900,000 workers are registered with the NSSF, of whom 600,000 are garment workers. In 2013, about 51,625 of the Kingdom’s 880,000 employees working for 6,428 companies received free medical treatment from the NSSF.
In January, the government issued a sub-decree providing health insurance to workers in the textile and footwear industry. The sub-decree aimed to create a mechanism for members of the NSSF to be covered for a variety of preventive healthcare services.
“The NSSF is the only institution that is authorized to manage and arrange health services under the provisions of the Labor Law. Employers and employees who are under the social security and healthcare regulation of the Labor Law apply to have been authorized to pay contributions for healthcare to the NSSF.
“The contribution that is the responsibility of the workers must not exceed that of the employers’ contribution,” the sub-degree reads.