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Fred Hollows Foundation gives boost to health service

The Fred Hollows Foundation has provided more than 430 million kip (US$50,000) to the Ministry of Health to finance the expenses of ministry staff when they undertake assignments outside of Vientiane.
Regional Director for East Asia of the Fred Hollows Foundation, Dr Phuc Huynh Tan, and Director General of the ministry’s National Health Insurance Bureau, Dr Bounfeng Phommalaysith, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the financing in Vientiane last week.
Dr Bounfeng said the money provided by the foundation will be made available for ministry staff until February 2020.
Dr Phuc Huynh Tan said the foundation had been working for more than 10 years on community eye care projects in 10 provinces of Laos, and is also working with the University of Health Sciences.
“We’re making this money available because the health service contributes to the development of the health insurance policy. I think you have started some very important work with health insurance. Now we are starting to contribute to your health finances and health insurance policy development,” Dr Phuc Huynh Tan said.
Dr Bounfeng thanked the Fred Hollows Foundation for providing the funding.
Eye health is important and the management of an eye health insurance service will increase nationwide. People will have to pay for their own eye health insurance if help from outside organisations is reduced, but in the meantime their needs are becoming greater, he said. The Fred Hollow Foundations was set up in 1992 with support from the government of Australia and Australian citizens, together with other partners.
The foundation works in about 25 countries to reduce blindness and has trained ophthalmologists, nurses and officials at the Ministry of Health with the aim of making treatment systems sustainable and in line with the needs of the community. The Fred Hollow Foundations has been working in Laos since 2008, to provide treatment and prevent blindness.

By Siladda Souliyong
(Latest Update August 15, 2019)

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