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Loan sharks prey on Cambodia families needing health care

Image: Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Study of more than 5,000 homes finds almost 30 per cent need to take out loans to cover health care costs

 Cambodian families are often forced to borrow money at high interest rates from private loan companies to pay for basic health care, according to a study by the University of New South Wales and health researchers in Phnom Penh.

It surveyed more than 5,000 households across Cambodia and found that almost 30 per cent borrowed money from loan sharks to pay for healthcare. The average loan was around $200, with 78 per cent of borrowers unable to pay out the loans within a year. 

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