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Setthathirath Hospital to have major upgrade

A ground-breaking ceremony took place on Wednesday to mark the start of construction of new facilities at Setthathirath Hospital in Vientiane.
The hospital upgrade is part of the government’s efforts to overhaul the country’s health services.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Health, Associate Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong, Ambassador of Japan to Laos, Mr Takeshi Hikihara, and Chief Representative of the Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA) Laos Office, Mr Yoshiharu Yoneyama. 

Other senior ministry officials and invited guests were also in attendance.
The Project for the Improvement of Setthathirath Hospital and Champassak provincial Hospital, under which the upgrade is taking place, is continuing until 2020.
It focuses on the key objectives of Japan’s cooperation with Laos to improve systems, deliver better medical services and develop and create more learning and training environments for nursing and medical students.
Assoc. Prof. Dr Bounkong said the new facilities will allow a better standard of healthcare to be provided for the mothers and infants who are patients at the hospital.  All Lao people will be allowed access to the services the new facility will provide.
It is expected that the new facility will help reduce the rate of maternal and infant mortality, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals relating to health.  It will also serve the government’s aim to have universal health coverage by 2025.
Mr Hikihara said the project’s aims are to improve healthcare services and  develop human resources by upgrading the facilities and medical equipment at Setthathirath Hospital.
Improving the delivery of health care services forms the basis of improving the well-being and development of the country as a whole, he added.
Mr Yoneyama said the facilities and equipment that were provided by Japanese Grant Aid will allow the hospital to treat 19 percent more outpatients than it does at present.  There will also be a 30 percent increase in the capacity for diagnostic imaging. It is expected that the hospital will be able to provide practical clinical training to students and that it will become a large teaching hospital.
The total cost of construction is US$17,346,000. The Director General of Setthathirath Hospital, Dr Phayvanh Keopaseuth, said the existing hospital opened in February 2001.
Since then, everyone involved has worked to improve the quality of the services provided. This includes the areas of clinical examination, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and health promotion and education measures.
He said the hospital will implement the health reform strategy laid down by the ministry and that he will do his best to ensure the health service is effective and responsive to the needs of the public. The Project for the Improvement of Setthathirath Hospital through Japanese Grant Aid will also allow the construction of a new emergency room, a new outpatient department and an operating theatre with modern surgical equipment. The building of these additional facilities is currently in the planning stage. 

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update January 24, 2019)


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