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. The largely rural population is poorly provisioned with human resources for health. As a result, most primary care doctors work in district hospitals with few other physician colleagues.

Partnering with the University of Health Sciences (UHS) in Vientiane, BU GHC has designed a program to train accredit rural physicians to provide comprehensive and safe primary care in under-resourced settings. The Masters of Family Medicine – Distance Learning Program (MoFM-DLP) is a three year advanced medical training degree conferred to students at provincial hospitals in Luang Prabang and Savannakhet. Rural doctors rotate between the provincial hospital and their district hospitals in quarterly blocks. Upon graduating the level of primary medical care in their home districts is vastly improved through a combination of their personal newfound skills, the establishment of an improved medical specialist consultation capacity generated by the physician contacts made during the training process, and the transfer of skills from the graduates to additional primary care service providers such as nurses and community health workers.