Social health protection

Project description

Title: Social health protection
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Cambodia
Partner: B. Braun, Novo Nordisk
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Health, Cambodia
Overall term: 2019 to 2021

+++ In the context of the corona pandemic, this project was extended to include measures that help to counteract the spread of the virus and mitigate its effects. +++

GIZ2019_Stong’s Health Center Staff_1


Health care in state institutions in Cambodia, with the exception of vaccinations and the treatment of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, does not usually come free of charge. With the support of development partners, in recent years the state has put in place non-contributory health insurance for poor and vulnerable population groups and has established contributory social health insurance for workers. However, 60 per cent of the population works in the informal sector, around two thirds of whom are living just above the poverty line. 

The inadequate quality and supply density of the state’s health care has led to significant growth in the private health sector over the past two decades. This now provides 70 per cent of all health services, although regulation of the sector is limited. 

The Cambodian Government has a strategy to extend social health protection. In addition, it plans to promote comprehensive, effective health care aligned with people’s needs. This includes registration and approval procedures for public and private service providers. The aim is to control diseases and reduce maternal, child and neonatal mortality. 


The Cambodian state is able to steer the funding of the health system more efficiently and equitably to provide quality-oriented and needs-based health care.



The project is supporting the Ministry of Health in setting up a system for external, independent quality checks. It is also establishing processes to continuously improve the quality of state health care facilities. The introduction of operating cost calculations and analysis will enable the Ministry of Health to assess the technical efficiency of all state health service providers. To achieve this, quality parameters and the health information system will also be taken into account. 

In addition, the health insurance system is being strengthened, for example through training programmes for employees at the National Social Security Fund, which is the authority responsible for the system. Dialogue between policy-oriented researchers and the ministries of health and finance is also being improved. 

The project enables political and civil society actors in the regions and municipalities to fulfil their roles more effectively.

To counteract the spread of the corona virus, an awareness campaign is being implemented on Facebook, the most widely used social medium in Cambodia. In cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Cambodian Ministry of Health is being supported in curbing misinformation and providing the population with comprehensive information. In addition, laboratories receive support in conducting COVID-19 tests and research into treatments and vaccines.