Laos to order closure of foreign clinics

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-06 13:02:20|Editor: Song Lifang
Video PlayerClose

VIENTIANE, July 6 (Xinhua) -- The Healthcare Department under the Lao Ministry of Health will order the closure of foreign-owned clinics when their professional Lao medical licences expire in 2017.

The ministry had ordered the closure of the clinics by the end of 2015, but it decided to extend the licensing period in the interests of promoting friendly diplomatic relations, Chanphomma Vongsamphanh, director of the department, was quoted by local daily Vientiane Times as saying on Thursday.

The closures would reduce the number of complaints about bogus advertisements by foreign-run clinics, which attracted patients but resulted in them being overcharged. The closure will send a strong signal to foreign nationals that the operation of medical clinics is solely reserved for Lao doctors, according to regulations on private medical clinics, Chanphomma said.

All foreigners wanting to continue medical businesses in Laos will only be permitted to open hospital, Chanphomma said, adding that many foreign-owned clinics can be upgraded to hospital if they comply with the Law on Healthcare of Laos.

There are currently 17 private hospitals legally registered with the Ministry of Health. There are more than 1,000 private clinics in Laos, but only three of those are foreign-owned, according to the Vientiane Times.