Patient Numbers at Public Hospitals Continue to Tumble


The number of patients checking in to receive advice and treatment at government hospitals continues to decline because healthcare services were lacking in quality.

Minister of Health, Associate Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong made the admission at a signing ceremony for construction of a patient’s service building at Mittaphab Hospital in the capital earlier this week.

He said the nation needs to improve healthcare services to give patients confidence in the system.

Unfortunately in Laos, doctors, nurses, and other medical staff still harbored old-fashioned work practices as they did many years ago. This meant they didn’t take care of patients as their customers when seeking treatment at hospital, Dr Bounkong said.

In developed countries, doctors and nurses take care of patients very well.

They consult with patients immediately when they come to hospital, he said.

Many Lao patients continue to go to hospital in neighboring countries to receive advice and health services because they think they’re getting better treatment than at home.

At the same time private clinics are making improvements to local healthcare in various areas but government hospitals still are not responding to public demand.

There needs to be increased understanding by doctors, nurses, and other medical staff on the importance of healthcare service to their patients to increase the number of patients attending local hospitals in the future, he added.

However, efforts are already underway to improve the service offered by doctors and nurses, in addition to the training of quality health officials. The government’s healthcare policy is now focused on patient satisfaction.

Dr Bounkong noted there was also still room for improvement with the services of Lao private hospitals and clinics.

The public hospital improvements are aimed at reducing complaints and to ensure that all ethnicities in society receive good quality treatment on an equal basis


Source: Vientiane Times