Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said 18,725 pregnant women from poor families have received financial support after the government started distributing funds for its health care scheme in June.
Speaking with hearing and visually impaired students at Krousar Thmey School in Sen Sok district, Mr Hun Sen said that within one month, 18,725 pregnant women from poor families have received cash assistance from the government in a newly-launched scheme that is aimed at supporting mothers throughout pregnancy and until the child reaches two years of age.
He noted that the government provides the cash aid in designated phases throughout the pregnancy and until the child is two years old.
“The government wants to see citizens enjoy good health through the social health policy implemented, which is aimed to reduce health concerns in children, including a weak brain and disability,” Mr Hun Sen said.
He noted that pregnant women from poor families used to pay for their health checks, which is now no longer necessary with the new policy.
“The government has thought carefully about providing the cash boost for pregnant women from poor families to ensure that our citizens are healthy, including women and children,” he said.
Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng recently confirmed that the new policy was launched in June, noting that around 50,000 to 60,000 women from poor families get pregnant every year.
He added that the financial support also helps to ensure that babies get vaccinated.
“The Ministry of Health will pay attention to this programme and track that the women receive timely check-ups,” he said. “The Ministry of Health will use the yellow book, which will keep records before and after delivery. The government will pay attention on women who are unable to access health services so that they can receive financial support from the government.”
Moung Srey Moch, 23, from Kampong Cham province, said she is a mother of a five-month-old child and that she is a beneficiary of the government aid until her baby reaches two years old.
“I have an ID card for the poor. Now I receive the cash aid when I bring my children to get health checks and vaccinations,” she said. “Now when we come to the hospital, we do not spend any money and we get the cash aid.”
According to the ministry, the terms of payment are divided into three phases. In the first phase, the women will receive 40,000 riels (about $10), followed by 200,000 riels (about $50) in the second phase when they deliver the baby. The third phase consists of ten installments of 40,000 riels (about $10), which includes fees for vaccinations, until the child reaches two years of age.