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09/10/2017 - 08:02

Laotian patients opting for Hue

More and more Laotian patients are coming to Hue for medical examination and treatment because of their trust in the service quality, geographical and emotional proximity, especially many hospitals in Hue have recently provided Laotian patients with more supporting policies.

Over the past three months, the number of Laotian patients has increased dramatically

Treating patients quickly and conscientiously

Ms. Aloun Khounsavanth, a university lecturer in Laos, taking care of her mother, Mrs. Boundat Sensayalath, 51, who has cervical cancer and is receiving treatment at Oncology Department, Hue International Hospitalsaid: “After finishing Phase 1 with 25 periods of radiotherapy, I took my mother back to Laos to take a break for a couple of weeks, my relatives and friends were very surprised because they had thought she would not survive. She just lost some weights, but could sleep and eat well, and her spirit was lifted as the doctors had said that her body respond well to the radiotherapy."

From Champasak to Hue (via La Lay Border Gate), it is only 300 km, less than half way up to Vientiane, while the quality of medical examination is better. Aloun told the neighbors that at the hospitals in Hue, they dealt with patients very quickly, many people do not believe, this time she took them here to receive the treatment to prove that she has been always correct. "My cousin had a knee ligament sprain. We got here in the morning, and only in the afternoon they finished his Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), meanwhileif we went to Thailand it could take about 3 days to complete the MRI and cost about twice as much."

Being given treatment at the Department of Oncology are three patients from the same Champasak village,  Phomachank Soukphakhanh who is suffering from chest wall fibrocystic sarcoma and Chunlany Xaynhavong metastatic nasopharyngeal cancer. Despite being exhausted due to the chemotherapy drug the patient's face lits up when the doctor visit. Phomachank Soukphakhanh, 53, said she was diagnosed with cancer early in her surgery. As soon as her result showed that she had cancer, she started chemotherapy right away, just after being thoroughly explained about her condition and prognosis. She affirmed: "I fully trust the medical team here." In room 408, 56-year-old Chunlany Xaynhavong, who did not hide his anxiety due to the disease, was determined to be in the phase of metastasis. "The doctor said that this disease responds well with both chemotherapy and radiotherapy so I still have hopes."

Mr. Phumilat Lattanavong, 62, from Salavan, suffering from lung cancer, is receiving chemotherapy. He said that when he came to Hue, he had to go straight to the Emergency Department because of having difficulty breathing due to severe pneumonia, including fluid. "Thanks to doctors’ assertive and timely treatment, my conditions improved and after examinations and tests I was referred to the Department of Oncology for further treatment. Although I still need help from the oxygen machine to breathe at times, I was much better than I had been when I had first got here. The doctors have visited me so often and my family is very reassured. "

Dr. Pham Nguyen Tuong, Deputy Director of the Center for Oncology, Head of Oncology Dept. of Hue International hospital,said: "Over the past three months, the number of patients from Laos coming for examination and treatment has increased dramatically. So far, more than 20 Lao patients have been admitted to treatment, including benign and cancerous tumors, and all patients are satisfied with the quality of service here. "

A push from a trip to Laos

In order to attract a large number of Laotian patients to Hue for treatment, it is important to mention the push from a trip to the Lao People's Democratic Republic of leaders of Hue Central Hospital from 2 to 7 April 2017 led by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Nhu Hiep, Director of the hospital. Five provinces that the delegation visited were Savannakhet, Champasak, Attapeu, Sekong and Salavan. A number of important MOUs have been quickly put into practice, including training, technology transfer (interventional cardiology, endoscopic surgery, obstetrics and gynecology), distant diagnose, and especially the patients in Laos who have referral from the hospital in the above five provinces, when coming to Hue Central Hospitalfor medical treatment, will get the same price of medical services as the Vietnamese patients do.

Dr. Pham Nguyen Tuong shared: “It is the same everywhere, there are rich patients, but most of them are poor and have very difficult circumstances. If there is any supporting policy or funding it will increase the chances for patients to get treatment.” Through the exchange, many Laotian patients and their family members said that in the past if they wanted to be examined and treated with high quality service, they often go to Thailand because of language advantages, but the cost is very expensive. In Hue, patients are treated quickly and effectively, from the examination, diagnosis to treatment so it could shorten their hospital stay, contributing to reducing the costs.

According to the data from the General Planning Dept. of Hue International Hospital, since the beginning of the year, the number of patients from Laos has increased sharply with 669 outpatient visits and 112 inpatients. This result not only shows the prestige of Hue Central hospital's health service quality but also the result of the friendship between Thua Thien Hue province and 5 provinces in Central Laos in particular and the two countries of Vietnam - Laos in general.

Story and photo: Ngu Vien