Lao health officials and development partners have discussed five priority areas of health sector reform, aimed at achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to the health sector by 2015.

The five areas consist of human resource development for health; health financing and universal health coverage; governance, organisation, management, planning and working methodology; service delivery/hospital reform and modernisation; and health information system, monitoring and evaluation.

Speaking at the National Consensus Meeting on Health Sector Reform Framework the Minister of Health, Professor Dr Eksavang Vongvichit, said at the meeting held this week in Vientiane that health workers throughout the country are gearing up to achieve the MDGs by 2015.

“We have only two years left for achieving the goal. That’s why, I want all health workers to work harder, quicker and give better quality,” he said.

All plans should be drawn up in line with the ministry’s policy on achieving the MDGs that are directly relevant to the health sector, namely MDG 1 on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, MDG 4 which focuses on reducing child mortality, MDG 5 relating to maternal health, MDG 6 on combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, and MDG 7 on ensuring environmental sustainability.

During the meeting, some 130 participants from the health sector, development partners and relevant ministries worked to obtain a consensus of opinion on what action was necessary for health sector reform, including the framework for its implementation. In addition, the Ministry of Health also presented a draft health sector reform development framework focused on phase one, which is aimed at improving the primary healthcare service to achieve the MDG targets.

The framework has been developed based on the draft health sector reform strategy which was endorsed by the National Assembly in June last year. To achieve the reform, Dr Eksavang urged the whole health sector to act as one. All departments and institutions need to work together and bring out their best efforts to provide quality healthcare services to the population of Laos. Closer cooperation is needed to reach the MDGs in 2015 and help the country to graduate from the list of least developed countries by 2020.

World Health Organisation Representative in Laos, Dr Liu Yunguo, co-chaired the meeting.

Source: Vientiane Times
June 22, 2013