Healthcare in Cambodia

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Updated 2021-01-11 06:37

It used to be common advice for any foreigners in Cambodia to simply go to Bangkok or Singapore if they required medical attention. Fortunately, however, medical facilities in the Kingdom of Wonder have improved somewhat in recent years, and you can now receive reasonably good treatment for many conditions in private institutions.

It is important to visit a health professional in your home country at least four to six weeks before leaving for Cambodia to check that you are up-to-date with all recommended vaccinations, and are informed of any other preventive measures that could save you from needing any medical assistance in the first place.

Before you leave, it is also a good idea to find out the latest information regarding travel and health issues in Cambodia, and read up on the advice found online on TravelHealthPro or FitForTravel. If your country has a national health care system, you're also likely to find useful information and advice on the relevant national website.

Medical care

Although public health facilities in Cambodia are still of a very low standard, some private clinics and hospitals in Phnom Penh are well equipped and have competent foreign or internationally-trained local doctors. However, the service you receive can be of variable quality and expense, so it's important to enquire with other expatriates about where you should register and where you should avoid.

If you fall ill, a private medical clinic ' such as International SOS in Phnom Penh ' is likely to be well equipped to help you. The expat doctors tend to provide a good standard of care, while the overall setting is considerably more comfortable and modern than many other medical facilities in the city. However, it can be very expensive to go to SOS, so be sure you have sufficient insurance to cover you.

In Phnom Penh, the Thai-owned Royal Phnom Penh Hospital is considered to be the best international hospital. However, it's not cheap, even though the Cambodian doctors do charge less than the foreign doctors. Alternatively, Sen Sok University Hospital is a more affordable option that many expats choose.

Although there have been vast improvements in the sector and you can now receive good treatment for some conditions in certain clinics in Phnom Penh, many expats still feel more comfortable undergoing certain procedures, treatments and tests in neighbouring countries. The capitals of Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur are particularly booming in terms of medical tourism so have highly skilled staff, as well as sophisticated hospitals and equipment.

Many pregnant expatriates living in Cambodia choose to head over to Bangkok in their final trimester for prenatal care and delivery, as standards and procedures can still be more reliable across the border. That said, Khema Clinic and Maternity is popular among those who do wish to give birth in Cambodia.

Dental Care

Dental care tends to be professional, modern and affordable in Phnom Penh, from basic cleaning to more extensive operations. Aesthetic treatments, such as teeth whitening, are also available at a much cheaper price than in western countries.

Roomchang Dental Hospital is a popular spot, as it is clean and modern, and offers a variety of treatments and surgeries at reasonable prices.

It is advisable to ask questions before any procedures, and preferably go to a clinic that comes highly recommended by other expatriates. At a good dental clinic, you can expect some of the local staff to have been trained abroad.

Pharmacies

You'll find that most medications are available in Phnom Penh and will be sold over the counter in a pharmacy. However, as counterfeit drugs are known to be an issue in Cambodia, it's advisable to always go to a reputable pharmacy, such as Pharmacie de la Gare or U-Care; and if you have a prescription for something more unusual, it's a good idea to call first to check if it's in stock.

Private health insurance in Cambodia

There are several insurance companies in Cambodia that offer medical insurance for expats, and it is highly advisable to ensure that you and your family have comprehensive insurance before you travel to the kingdom. 

Some of the leading health insurance providers are:

Consider having a look at their offers according to your needs and get a free quote on Expat.com's Health Insurance for expatriates in Cambodia page.

If possible, try to negotiate private health insurance as part of an expatriate package before you relocate.

When reviewing insurance plans, make sure you choose one that covers you for hospitalisation, medical evacuation, and even repatriation. The last thing you need in the event of a disaster is to get into debt or place a heavy financial burden on your loved ones.

However, if money is tight, then you may wish to skip being covered for outpatient procedures, as it can be affordable enough to pay for any minor medical concerns as and when the need arises.

Even if you have insurance, it is important to make sure that you have access to enough funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment you may need while in Cambodia, as well as potential repatriation, as some hospitals may expect payment upfront before you claim from your insurance.

Useful links:

Fit For Travel

Travel Health Pro

International SOS

Ministry of Health

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.