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Health Care

Pneumonia in China Sparks Preventative Action in Cambodia, Health Ministry Says

The ministry in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province said that as of January 5, Wuhan city had reported 59 people infected – including seven with serious conditions.

PHNOM PENH — Cambodia’s Ministry of Health on Friday issued a warning of an “unidentified pneumonia” that was first reported in China, calling Cambodians to be alert.

In a press release, the ministry said there is no reported case of the disease in Cambodia and added it is “closely monitoring” the situation after receiving information from the World Health Organization.

The disease was first reported on December 31, 2019, in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province, the ministry statement said. The ministry said that as of January 5, Wuhan city had reported 59 people infected – including seven with serious conditions.

Or Vandin, secretary of state at the Ministry of Health and its spokesperson, told VOA Khmer that the ministry had deployed thermal image scanner devices for passengers going in and out of Cambodia.

“Even though there’s currently no case of the disease in Cambodia, the ministry has put thermal image scanner devices at three airports: Phnom Penh International Airport, Sihanoukville International Airport, and Siem Reap International Airport,” she said. “Our quarantine team at these international gateways are closely monitoring for any suspicious cases.”

The ministry has also set up quarantine rooms at Phnom Penh’s Khmer-Soviet, Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap provincial hospitals.

Ky Santy, director of Kantha Bopha children’s hospital in Phnom Penh, told VOA Khmer that they’ve have been informed of the press release. “So far there have been no children with any suspicious case,” he told VOA Khmer.

“There has been no case as described in the press release by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization. We closely monitor the situation and saw no such case. We currently only see regular pneumonia cases,” he said.

Ky Santy said the hospital would work closely with the Ministry of Health and Center for Disease Control to stay abreast of any development.

On January 9, the World Health Organization’s press release stated that it will continue to monitor the pneumonia cases in Wuhan and would work to provide technical support to China “to investigate and respond to this outbreak.”

Cambodia’s Ministry of Health appealed to the public for better hygiene and to avoid cross-contamination with seafood markets and animal farms where deadly viruses often dwell.

 

 

 

 

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Interning in Medicine in Cambodia with Projects Abroad

Each internship is tailored to your level of experience and interests. You will could experience a wide variety of departments, such as General Medicine, Gynecology/Maternity, Infectious Diseases, ENT, Obstetrics, Psychiatrics, Neurology, Pneumology, Oncology, Urology, ICU, Ophthalmology, Stomatology, Emergency, and Surgery.

The hospital staff request that you spend a minimum of two weeks in each department. Your supervisor at the hospital, the Director General, will then assign you to work with the specialist doctors within the different departments. We will do our best to place you according to your preferences, but cannot guarantee every department will be available all of the time.

Your role at the hospital will vary depending on your education and experience level. Usually, you will shadow the local staff upon arrival before switching departments. If you show enthusiasm and develop a good relationship with the medical staff, you may find that you gain enough trust to be given more to do. As with any job – and especially in the field of medicine – you must prove yourself to be trustworthy before you are given responsibilities.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our

The hospital’s facilities are basic and the treatment standards will probably be different from what you are used to. You should be prepared to see some shocking cases and try not to get emotionally involved with the patients. Normal working hours are from Monday to Friday from 8am to 12pm. Volunteers do not work at the hospitals in the afternoons or evenings, as many of the doctors do not work during that time. It is sometimes possible to arrange extra hours from 2pm to 5pm to help the nurses or do additional work with patients.

Interns who want to work longer hours can also request to work with the Public Health Project on some afternoons. This is a great opportunity to experience the diversity of healthcare available in Cambodia.

Medicine interns in Cambodia stay in one of the Projects Abroad apartments in Phnom Penh. You can spend your free time with our Projects Abroad volunteer community exploring what Cambodia’s capital city and the surrounding areas have to offer.

While you’re in Cambodia, you might also consider joining a 1 week Culture & Community Project. For more information, please visit our Khmer Project in Cambodia. Our Combinations Page explains how you can combine not only projects, but also destinations.

Source: projects-abroad.org

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12 cancer drugs may come under price control

This means there could be a significant drop in prices where the difference in cost of using the original or “innovator” brand and its generic variants is significant.

In a move that could bring relief to thousands of cancer patients, the pharmaceutical pricing authority has recommended the inclusion of 12 drugs used to treat a range of life-threatening conditions, from leukaemia to breast cancer, in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM).

If the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) recommendation is accepted, these drugs (see box), whose prices range from Rs 3,000 to Rs 8 lakh for treating an average-sized adult, could come under price control.

As per the pharmaceutical pricing policy passed in 2012, any brand of drugs included in NLEM cannot cost more than the weighted average of all brands of that particular medicine that have a market share of at least one per cent.

This means there could be a significant drop in prices where the difference in cost of using the original or “innovator” brand and its generic variants is significant.

For instance, in the case of brain tumours, the current cost of treatment using Temozolomide is Rs 2.16 lakh for the innovator brand and Rs 20,000 for its generic variants.

Again, for Irinotecan, which is used in treating a range of cancers including those in the lungs and ovaries, the cost ranges from Rs 1.87 lakh for innovator brands to Rs 25,000 for the generic ones.

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“All of these are widely used and very useful drugs. Bringing them under price control will help a lot of patients,” said Dr P K Julka, professor of oncology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

However, an industry representative criticised the move, saying that any form of price control may affect the “availability” of drugs.

“Determining essential medicines is the domain of experts, not of economists and bureaucrats. Enforcing price control may actually end up affecting the availability of these drugs in the long term. State funding of drugs, like in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, is the only viable way forward,” said D G Shah of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, an umbrella organisation for pharma companies.

The pricing authority, meanwhile, has also recommended the deletion of three drugs from NLEM, one whose use dates back to 1959, and two others with limited use in India at present.

They include Busulphan, used before autologous stem cell transplants started, and Raloxifen, used in post-menopausal women for prevention of breast cancer – Danazol is no longer used.

Official sources said the NPPA granted “post-facto approval” to the recommendation in a meeting of the authority on March 25. The recommendation was forwarded to the Department of Pharmaceuticals under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers some time ago.

According to documents examined by The Indian Express, the pricing recommendation is based on inputs from the Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai and the pharmaceutical industry from which it had invited feedback last November.

The recommendation has given priority to drugs with a potential for cure, and those that can benefit the maximum number of patients according to data from the national cancer registry programme, the documents show.

They also record that the NPPA kept in mind the non-availability of alternative medications of the same group and the price difference between various brands of the same drug.

According to sources, the meeting in March also discussed another move to include cardiac stents in NLEM following reports of overpricing.

Source: India News

Health Care

HEALTHCARE RESOURCE GUIDE: CAMBODIA

Healthcare Resource Guide: Cambodia Cambodia Statistics

 

  Summary

Market Entry

Current Market Trends

Main Competitors

Current Demand

Registration Process

Barriers

Trade Events

Best Prospects

CS Contacts

Capital: Phnom PenhPopulation: 14.68 million (2013)

GDP: US$18,502million (2015)

Currency: Khmer Riel

Language: Khmer

Summary

The Cambodian health market is comprised of a wide variety and range of health-care providers, including public health facilities, pharmacies, private hospitals, and medical professional services operating from their own facilities or traveling directly to patients’ homes. Two-thirds of public health staff also work separately in some private capacity. NGO-run health facilities and charitable hospitals also provide services. Qualified private providers and pharmacies are mostly available in urban areas. In 2015, there were approximately 2,000 registered pharmacies, 300 drug import/export companies, and 13 medical manufacturing institutions in Cambodia. There are also informal health providers which include vendors selling drugs from shops or markets, traditional birth attendants, and traditional healers.

The public sector is dominant in promotion and prevention activities for essential reproductive, maternal, neonatal and pediatric health, and major communicable diseases control. However, private practitioners remain popular for curative care. According to the 2010 Cambodian Demographic and Health Survey, only 29% of sick or injured patients sought care first at public sector facilities, while 57% sought care from private health providers. Most high income and some middle-income people seek medical treatment abroad for emergency cases, primarily in Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore.

While government funding for health care has increased significantly to 12% of total government budget, it remained at only 1.4% of GDP in 2013. Official development assistance accounted for 15% to 20% of total health care funding. Out-of-pocket payments (household expenditure on healthcare), mostly for private health care services, totaled 61% of the total health expenditures.

Market Entry

Cambodia allows 100% foreign ownership of businesses. However, to better enter the Cambodian market, it is recommended that U.S. companies work with local partners (agents or distributors) who have good experience and knowledge of the local market, rules, and regulations. A reputable local partner is also key to maintaining good relationships with local customers whose procurement decisions are influenced mostly by trust.

Current Market Trends

The Ministry of Health is the single largest purchaser of drugs, medical supplies, and medical equipment, though as a whole the proportion of healthcare provided by the private sector exceeds that of public institutions. A number of new private hospitals and clinics have opened in the past few years, and more are expected in the future.

The dental market is gaining increased interest from medical tourists from developed countries such as Japan, Australia, and the Middle East. Approximately 20 dental clinics in Phnom Penh are operating in accordance with international standards, with appropriate ISO certification and western-trained dentists.

Over the last decade, the Cambodian population has become more knowledgeable about the importance of health care and health supplements, and nutrition products are becoming more popular.

Main Competitors

The main competitors of U.S. medical device companies are from Japan and European countries, mainly Germany. Consumable health care products from China are also very competitive in the market.

Companies from Australia, New Zealand, U.K, Germany, the Czech Republic, Korea and Japan also market health supplements in Cambodia.

Current Demand

Medical devices with the best sales prospects in Cambodia include diagnostic devices and imaging equipment such as ultrasound machines, x-ray machines, and TC scanners.

 

The demand for supplement products has increased in the last several years, particularly in Phnom Penh and the larger provincial towns in Cambodia. Two major U.S. supplement brands have gained popularity in Cambodia recently: Unicity and Herbalife.

Registration Process

Imported medicines and medical products must be registered at the Ministry of Health for laboratory testing.

Medical devices are divided into four categories according to their levels of risk (low, fairly low, fairly high, and high). The minimum required documents for registration include an application form, GMP or ISO certificates, a free sale certificate, a letter of authorization, and the product’s manual. Registration of the latter three categories also requires registration certificates from the country of export, an analysis report from the manufacturer, and technical documents. The product registration process should normally take three to six months. However, it might take up to 10 months to one year depending on the Ministry of Health’s product registration work load. The registration certificate is valid for three years from the date of issuance. The company must re-apply for a new registration certificate six months before the expiration of the previous certificate. All imported pharmaceutical products are required to have at least 18 months validity before the expiry date.

Barriers

There are no specific barriers for foreign firms to import medical products into Cambodia. Three types of pharmaceutical products are restricted in Cambodia: narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, and precursors. Medical importers need to send their products to the Ministry of Health for testing to determine if they fall under any specific restrictions.

Trade Events

There are currently no health fairs or related trade events scheduled to take place in Cambodia.

Local Associations

Government Links

 

Article Source: https://www.export.gov

Health Care

Health insurance in Cambodia

The importance of medical evacuation

Much of Cambodian health care is provided privately and can be paid for in cash. However, the majority of complicated or specialised procedures are either very expensive or entirely unavailable, making comprehensive cover including medivac highly advisable.

There is no national health insurance available in Cambodia, instead the best option is to take out a policy in your home country or with an international provider. Whilst general health care is reasonably inexpensive, standards are also very variable and services may be extremely limited in certain areas.

This increases the possibility of the necessity of medical evacuation to the nearest advanced providers of Bangkok and Singapore. However, this process of evacuation can be extremely expensive, and therefore it’s strongly recommended you ensure your policy includes medivac. Within this policy it should cover the eventuality of having to be airlifted in the case of serious illness or injury.

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Hospitals, doctors, dentists and medicines Accessing healthcare in Cambodia

Facilities and equipment in Cambodia’s hospitals do not comply with international standards, therefore it is understandable that treatment for serious conditions is sought elsewhere. There are various places to seek medical attention for minor injury or illness, though these are predominantly found in cities.

Hospitals and clinics

Clinics offer mainly general medical treatment, whereas specialist departments are found in hospitals. International clinics can be found in Phnom Penh where non-serious ailments can be treated. They also offer a medical translation service and evacuation when needed. It is advisable that when taking out medical insurance you check you plan covers medical evacuation, it means that if your illness or injury is so serious that you need to be transferred elsewhere the costs will be reimbursed.

Without insurance, medical evacuation to Thailand or Vietnam by helicopter can cost up to US$15,000 and payment is expected there and then. Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam however can be reached fairly easily by land, from Phnom Penh a taxi or bus journey will take six hours, so if it is not an emergency this is arguably the easiest option.

It is also worth considering that not all of the hospitals in Cambodia will accept insurance so you may be expected to pay for treatment. The cost for medical assistance in Cambodia is however only nominal. A consultation, bed for the night, cost of medication and whatever equipment is used can cost just US$100 in Phnom Penh.

Polyclinique Aurora in Phnom Penh comes recommended if money is tight and treatment must be found in a Cambodian hospital. Royal Rattanak Hospital and Royal Angkor International Hospital  are partnered with a hospital in Thailand, staffed by both Thai and Cambodian workers.

The international hospitals are more popular among foreigners and expats but they are expensive.

Doctors

The fledgling health system in Cambodia is demonstrated by the fact that there is only 1 doctor for every 5,000 people in the country.

Many expats do not go to see a Cambodian doctor, opting instead to see western doctors in international clinics and hospitals. Some of these international options include International SOS Medical and Tropical & Traveller’s Medical Clinic, along with the ones mentioned above.

Dentists

Contrary to the standard of medical treatment in Cambodia, excellent dentistry can be found. So much so that it is making a name for itself in the world of dental tourism. English speaking dentists can be found and many of them have trained in Europe or the U.S.

In Phnom Penh, Roomchang Dental Clinic is highly recommended for expats. Internationally trained professionals within a spotlessly clean clinic equipped with brand new technology. The draw for foreigners is that treatment costs significantly less than in the west; a consultation is free, cleaning US$20, and fillings US$25+ depending on the severity of the cavity.

Similarly Pachem clinic in Siem Reap, offers an efficient service with similarly trained, English speaking staff, and their state of the art equipment has been shipped in from Japan.

Medication & pharmacies

Prescriptions don’t exist in Cambodia, everything can be bought over the counter. Therefore, pharmacies are everywhere in Cambodian cities. However, in order to ensure what you are getting is what you asked for, avoid the independent pharmacies. They have been implicated in the worrying trade of fake medicines in the country. Pharmacy chains like U-Care and Pharmacie de la Gare in Phnom Penh are your best option, you can guarantee what you ask for will be what you get; and you may even get the option to choose between western medicines and Asian equivalents.

As with most commodities, the cost of medication is also considerably cheaper in Cambodia than in western countries. The system of over the counter drugs does however give the country a reputation for self-medicating.

For more information on accessing healthcare in Cambodia, visit Expat Health Tips: https://expathealth.tips/

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