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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.



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


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.


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.


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:

Tocdep Street 115 Group 12 Village,Sangkhat Boeung Prolit, Khan 7 Makara Phnom Penh Cambodia

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