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Health Equity Fund (HEF)
What is HEF?
Health Equity Funds (HEFs) are a pro-poor health financing scheme that targets identified poor households in a given area and provides financial and social support so that the poor can better access government health services. HEFs cover the direct costs of health services and medications for the poor, and also provide transport reimbursement for patients and a food allowance for patient caretakers during hospitalization. It is estimated that 30% of the population in Cambodia are poor, as defined by the Ministry of Planning, and thus eligible for HEFs.
Program Overview

An important part of the Royal Government of Cambodia's social health protection strategy, HEFs have resulted in a substantial increase in the poor's utilization of public health services. University Research Co., LLC (URC) has been at the forefront supporting the implementation of HEFs in Cambodia since 2003 as part of two projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID): Health Systems Strengthening in Cambodia (2002–2008) and Better Health Services (BHS, 2009–2013)1. These projects have both worked directly with the Cambodian Ministry of Health (MOH) to strengthen capacity through coordinated activities that address both clinical and support services (i.e., health financing, quality improvement, MOH planning, supervision, and health information systems).
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