All Patient Records Must Be In Lao, Foreign Clinics Warned

Source: Vientiane Times

All medical documents for patients at private clinics and hospitals operated or owned by foreigners in Vientiane must be written in Lao to protect the rights and benefits of patients.

This was the message delivered at a workshop in the capital last week to representatives of six private hospitals and eight medical centres operated or owned by foreigners.

For several years, private clinics and hospitals have been reporting diagnoses in their original national languages, particularly Vietnamese and Chinese, but this practice doesn’t safeguard the rights of Lao patients who don’t understand what’s being written.

Director of the Healthcare Department under the Ministry of Health, Assoc. Prof. Dr Bounnack Saysanasongkham, said there had been some problems at private clinics with the treatment offered not up to standard or overcharging, which meant patients were denied their right to fair and proper healthcare.

He also highlighted the Health Ministry’s decree on private hospitals, which focused on the administration of health services and a reduction in the number of public complaints regarding diagnosis and treatment.

The decree aims to protect people’s rights to proper healthcare, ensuring they receive good quality treatment on an equal basis and guaranteeing the safety of patients through quality medical standards.
Under the decree, owners of private hospitals in Vientiane must regularly report on the services offered to district health offices.

All medical documents must be in Lao including the information provided to patients, diagnoses, results, treatments, medical images and medical certificates.

However, regarding different fees charges by the various hospitals and clinics, Dr Bounnack said this could be justified by the varying standards of medical equipment.

According to the ministry, many private hospitals and clinics are charging excessive rates for medical treatment because their owners do not have sufficient understanding of the Law on Healthcare.

 

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