Despite the political and economic improvements over the last ten years, the health status of the Cambodian population is still among the poorest in the world, partly due to an underutilization of existing health services and a misconception of what ‘health’ means and how this should be handled.
During the HealthNet TPO project in Pearang (Cambodia) in 2005, the idea was born to convert the established user fees to a health insurance system as is common in most Western countries. This idea was further developed by a Dutch and Cambodian taskforce in 2006 and 2007.
The feasibility of the project was researched using an extensive assessment, implemented by staff of HealthNet TPO and Achmea. The Rabobank Foundation financed this assessment. A survey among 179 Cambodian households in Pearang in 2008, made clear that the population is in favor of a health insurance system. Furthermore a premium of eight to sixteen Euros (depending on the size of the household) was found affordable.
In 2009 various donors were approached for financing the implementation of this project. Initial funding was received from PSO (a Dutch based organization working on capacity building in developing countries). Using this funding, the implementation of this project in cooperation with the local partner organization RACHA started in 2010.
The project staff was trained in the various aspects of micro insurance systems in the first few months of 2010. In May 2010 the project was first carried out and by the 1st of August the promising result of having 147 households insured for one year was achieved.
This project aims at sustainability: the objective is to have 250.000 households insured by 2015.