2015-10-13 12:38:05

Foreigners wishing to travel to Cambodia are advised to subscribe to a private health insurance although the country has a fair health care system.

You will probably have queries about health care during your stay in Cambodia. Here is an overview of the Cambodian health care system.

During your stay in Cambodia, you will probably be wondering about health care. In fact, a range of health care services are available in the country. But it is best to subscribe with a private health care insurance prior to moving so as to receive appropriate and timely health care. Feel free to inquire on expatriate forums and with the Cambodia embassy or consulate in your home country before moving.

Health care system

To date, Cambodia has not made great investments in its health care system. In fact, only 5.9% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is dedicated to health care, among which 75% of contributions have been made by local households. Hence, more than 50% of the local population are engrossed in debt related to health care. In short, the Cambodian health care system is deemed to be at the beginner level, with a ratio of a single doctor for some 5,000 patients.

Therefore, foreigners living in the country tend to seek quality health care services from neighboring countries. In general, Cambodian hospitals and clinics do not meet international standards. However, basic health care services are available in clinics while specialized surgeons work in public hospitals. Moreover, international clinics which are found in Phnom Penh only provide treatment for minor illnesses.


Private health insurance is not accepted by all Cambodian hospitals. This is why well-off locals and foreigners seek health care from international clinics having foreign doctors.

 Good to know:

In terms of life expectancy, Cambodia ranks 177th among 192 countries with an average life expectancy of 62 years.


There is no restriction regarding the sale of medication in Cambodia. Prescriptions are not required. But you are advised to buy medication in pharmacies.


Despite the relatively poor health care system, you are still likely to find many skilled and professional dentists in Cambodia. Most of them speak English after having been trained in Europe and in the US.

Health insurance

In case you require emergency health care in one of the neighboring countries, you are likely to spend several thousands of US dollars. Moreover, hospitalization in one of the Cambodian hospitals may cost at least US$ 100. To avoid spending such huge sums, you are advised to subscribe with a health care insurance before moving.

 Good to know:

There is no social security or local health care insurance in Cambodia. You are therefore highly advised to subscribe for a full health insurance including emergency repatriation to your home country.


The following vaccines are recommended before moving to Cambodia: hepatitis A and B, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, tetanus. You must also protect yourself against risks of malaria.

 Useful links:

Expat.com – Health system in Cambodia Forum
Ministry of Health www.cdcmoh.gov.kh
April International en.april-international.com
Health Insurance Asia www.health-insurance-asia.com

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