101 East

Cambodia: Unlicensed to Heal

101 East investigates Cambodia’s healthcare system and asks if unlicensed village medics are the best hope for the sick.

He never finished medical school, but for the villagers of Rael in Cambodia’s remote countryside, Chek Cheoum is a lifesaver. 

He only charges what his patients can afford, and is always nearby.

With 0.2 doctors for every 1,000 people, Cambodia has one of the world’s lowest ratios, forcing many to rely on unlicensed physicians like Cheoum.

But when a village suffered a widespread HIV outbreak after contaminated needles were used on patients, the government banned all unlicensed medics.

101 East uncovers Cambodia’s failed healthcare system and its reliance on doctors with no licence to heal.

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