Laos is one of the poorest nationals in South East Asia , and as such the state of the country's social services are not at the level they should be in order to provide comprehensive services to its citizens. It is because of this that the average life expectancy in Laos is only 55.89 years from birth, extremely low when compared to countries like Thailand (72.55) and Vietnam (71.07). The problem in Laos is that the government does not possess enough resources to ensure that the population has access to the healthcare services that they need. This is an issue that is readily viewable in the major cities, and outside of the urban areas it gets even worse with the extreme lack of primary care that is available. Many Laotian nations choose not to receive their healthcare in Laos , but rather travel across the friendship bridge to Thailand , where the cost of care is much higher, however the standards of treatment are also equally high.
The major issue for Laos was the departure of the countries doctors in 1975 due to the establishment of the communist government. This created a problem for the new government in the area of healthcare provision as they lacked the resources to provide adequate primary care. The healthcare services then shifted with village ‘doctors' becoming the primary care providers, however these individuals often have little or no medical training, the prescription of local herbs and vegetables as cures is a testament to this fact.
Since the 1980's however the Laotian government has been looking to address the woeful standard of healthcare in the country, but a number of major hurdles still have to be overcome. The prevalence of major infectious and vector borne disease has been a concern since the 1950's when the first ‘malaria eradication' campaign took place. While this campaign may have had good intentions it did involve spraying large areas of the countryside with DDT, a toxic insecticide. While this had the positive effect of removing large number of malarial mosquitoes from the country it also contaminated water supplies and food sources, leading to a higher than normal cancer rate in the Laotian countryside.
In addition to the high cancer rates, the DDT campaign also lead to higher than normal diarrhea related illnesses throughout the country, and it is this that has been directly attributed to the higher than average infant mortality rate in Laos. Another factor of major concern is the lack of adequate nutrition supplied to children in outlying areas of the country, a statistic that has often been sighted as one of the leading causes of child death in Laos . Coupled with the nation's loose gun and traffic laws, the medical and healthcare situation in Laos is grim indeed.
In the event of a foreign national suffering from a serious illness or injury while in Laos , the local medical facilities will not typically be able to provide any treatment outside of basic emergency care. Patients with serious medical problems will usually be evacuated from Laos to Thailand where they will be able to receive the care that they need, however this procedure will be expensive and having to pay the transportation costs out of pocket can put a severe strain on an individual's finances.
We can provide high quality international health insurance plans to expatriates in Laos that will give you the assurance that no matter what happens, anywhere in the world, you will have the care that you need. Plans that we can offer are typically guaranteed for life and globally portable, this means that even if you should relocate away from Laos your plan will travel with you. Due to the unpredictable nature of healthcare in Laos , a medical insurance policy with an emergency evacuation benefit is advised. These plans will ensure that if you are seriously ill or injured while in Laos , you will be transported to the nearest center of medical excellence, this ensures that you will always receive the best treatment and healthcare, no matter what the situation is.
For more information about healthcare in Laos , global medical insurance plans that we can provide in the country, or to receive a free comprehensive quote, please contact one of our dedicated expert advisers today.