Lao People’s Democratic Republic


The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has some of the lowest health indicators in the world. The delivery of primary health care services to disadvantaged, predominantly rural communities, is considered one of the most important areas of national health planning. Reform is needed in both medical education and health services delivery. The Collaborative is working with the Lao Ministry of Health to adopt a Family Medicine model and encourage the development of highly skilled physicians in rural areas.


Our overall goal in Lao PDR is to produce a new Laotian specialty of Family Medicine. With a Family Medicine Master’s degree program and Family Medicine training centers around the country, the Collaborative and its partners aim to improve primary health care for disadvantaged people living in rural communities.

Current Project: Laos Primary Health Care/Family Medicine Development Project

Duration: 2006-2012

Donor: China Medical Board

Partner: National University of Laos

Overview: The goal of the Laos Family Medicine Development Project is to develop, implement, and evaluate a primary health care training network based on the principles and practice of Family Medicine. The project will provide a higher quality of comprehensive, cost-effective primary health care to the disadvantaged people of Lao by enhancing the knowledge, attitudes, and skills of medical providers. The project is based at the National University of Laos, Faculty of Medical Sciences and includes a network of three provincial health centers.


  • Create a Center of Family Medicine at the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS), National University of Laos from which the Family Medicine specialty can be developed and incorporated into the Faculty of Medicine
  • Create three provincial Family Medicine Training and Health Care Delivery Centers: Central – Savannakhet province, North – Luangphrabang province, South – Champasack province
  • Prepare a training curriculum and educational materials for a Master’s Degree in Family Medicine through adaptation of local and internationally recognized Primary Health Care/Family Medicine teaching modules
  • Train faculty from the FMS and the three network affiliates in the principles and practice of Family Medicine education and health care delivery
  • Implement and evaluate the training program in the three network sites