Laos

Information for patients: 

The Laos health care system has three levels: a central Ministry of Health, provincial-level administration, and district level administration. Wealthy patients tend to visit Thailand for higher-quality treatment although the medical cost is more expensive [1]. Parts of Laos are very remote and medical care limited. Most rural areas will not respond to an insurance card [4].

Information for health care professionals:

Regulations are being developed and proposed for a 1-year maximum temporary practising certificate. In general, the foreign medical practitioners must be graduated from recognised institutions with basic Laotian language as the requirements. For full registration, the foreign practitioners must pass the national examination and possess residency in Laos. Evidence of registered and licensed in the country of origin with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in an acceptable hospital in the country of origin must be shown [3].

Laos is still facing a shortage and maldistribution of health workers. Therefore, qualified medical staff, which is not limited to one speciality, are highly demanded [5].

Information for travellers: 

There is no information on Medical tourism in Laos. However, medical tourists and some Laos residents travel from Laos to Thailand for treatment.

Some vaccines are recommended for Laos. Vaccination related to Mosquito-borne diseases may be required as those diseases are serious problems in Laos. Travellers should consider bringing antimalarials as well as mosquito repellents. Zika, dengue and chikungunya are also present in Laos. If you are travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever, the government may require proof of yellow fever vaccination [2].

Laotian is the official language spoken in Laos. Many doctors are fluent in French and English.

Link to Ministry of Health website: https://moh.gov.la/

References
[1] https://www.pacificbridgemedical.com/publication/healthcare-in-laos/
[2] https://www.passporthealthglobal.com/en-gb/destination-advice/laos/?cn-reloaded=1
[3] https://asean.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Registration-Requirement-for-Foreign-MP-Updated-AJCCM-22For-Publicati....pdf
[4] https://www.travelfish.org/beginners_detail/laos/23
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5129208/