Ministry of Health officials from around the country met for their annual meeting in Vientiane yesterday to review progress in the sector and discuss plans for 2019.
The meeting covered work in hygiene and health promotion, communicable disease prevention and control in target provinces, reduction of the mortality rate in mothers and infants, treatment and rehabilitation, food and drug administration, and improvement of financial planning and budgeting within the health sector.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister of Health, Associate Prof. Dr Bounkong Syhavong, said the annual meeting helped to strengthen management in local systems and the capacity building and training of health officials, especially village physicians, midwives, specialists and health facilities.
Last year, Laos made remarkable progress in some areas.
The target for reducing the mortality rate of infants and mothers had been met, while there were strides made in food quality assurance and medical products safety, he said.
“In 2018, the ministry ran successful projects aimed at increasing access to better quality health services for mothers and children. We improved reporting using District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS 2), upgraded the quality of human resources in the sector, improved administration, and expanded the health insurance fund to target communities,” he added.
“We strongly believe that the results reported at this meeting will greatly benefit our people by improving health services through higher quality treatment and technical innovation,” he noted. Assoc. Prof. Dr Bounkong said that this year the ministry hopes to further reform the health sector and raise standards, especially with regard to maternal and child health while continuing to upgrade health facilities.
“We will strive to implement the government’s health policy and accelerate health reform in five areas: human resource development, health improvement by expanding the health insurance policy, improvements to health services,better health management, and improved health administration and provision of information,” he explained. The ministry will continue to improve planning and budgeting within the health sector so that resources are efficiently directed to target groups.