The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a 45 million U.S. dollar loan to help strengthen quality health care in 16 districts across 10 provinces in Laos.
The Manila-based bank said that Improving the Quality of Health Care Project would help the Lao Ministry of Health design and implement quality of care policies.
“It would also upgrade provincial and district hospitals, and improve hospital management in the involved provinces.
“High-quality health care that meets the needs and expectations of patients, especially women and children, is key to Laos achieving universal health coverage by 2025,” said ADB Country Director for Laos Sonomi Tanaka.
The ADB said the project would benefit about 1.6 million people annually.
Patients include the poor, women, the elderly, those with disabilities, and ethnic groups living in underserved and remote rural areas.
In recent years, the ADB said Laos has made progress in expanding access to health care and insurance.
The national health insurance scheme introduced in 2015 covers 94 per cent of the population.
Most of the population has access to health facilities within a reasonable travel distance.
However, the ADB said Laos lags behind neighbouring countries in health sector development, and inadequate care often discourages people from seeking health services, particularly at the district and community levels.
The project would help the Lao Ministry of Health implement the country’s “Five Goods and One Satisfaction” quality of health care framework.
It would also help set up the country’s first health facility accreditation system, with an initial target of 10 facilities accredited by 2026. (Xinhua/NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ummul Idris/Tayo Ikujun