Cambodia is no longer a country emerging from conflict. The extended period of relative political stability in the wake of the 1998 election has provided a basis for significant and consistent economic growth. With gross domestic product (GDP) currently growing at more than 7% per annum, Cambodia is about to cross the line between low-income and lower middle-income status. Since the 1980s, the government has pursued a national policy based on strengthening the economy, and under these conditions the health of the population has improved significantly.
Since the beginning of the reform, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has increasingly assumed the leading role in health-system planning and development, in partnership with the development agencies.
The most recent is the Health Strategic Plan for 2008–2015. Development partners have helped collectively to shape health policy-making, in support of MOH objectives outlined in the Health Strategic Plans. Recent health reforms have focused on strengthening the MOH’s capacity to manage health-service delivery. Providing access for the poor is at the heart of health reforms.
The longer-term health system aim is to move towards universal coverage. There are a number of challenges remaining.
The Cambodian health market has a wide variety of health-care providers. Private providers dominate curative health-care delivery but remain insufficiently regulated.
Government health services provide national coverage of infrastructure and staff. Private providers outnumber government facilities but are mostly small scale.