Covid-19 Treatment in Luang Prabang No Longer Free

Covid patient

Authorities in Luang Prabang have declared that Covid-19 patients who receive treatment at provincial health facilities must pay for their own expenses.

According to a notice issued yesterday by the Director of the Luang Prabang Provincial Health Department, Dr. Khamsone Phongsavathdy, authorities will stop supplying food, drinking water, and other necessities free of charge to Covid-19 patients in the province.

The new measure has been imposed after the Swiss Red Cross ceased supplying meals and other services to the Luang Prabang Health Department last week.

The notice says that the Covid patients are required to pay at least LAK 40,000 per day for meals and water.

Patients with mild symptoms will be treated for 14 days, with a total meal cost of LAK 560,000 per person, while those who will be treated for more than two weeks need to pay on the actual day of treatment.

In the case of an outbreak at a factory or business with 50 or more employees, the relevant sector will set up a treatment center at the site, with the factory bearing the cost.

Government organizations and enterprises must take precautionary measures and, in case of infection, will also be responsible for their own meal fees.

Meanwhile, the provincial authorities have classified some hotels as treatment facilities for Covid-19 patients who do not wish to be treated at field hospitals, however, patients are to bear all costs.

Residents have expressed mixed reactions to the new measures, with some fearing that those unable or unwilling to pay for treatment will not be hospitalized and be more likely to spread the virus.