The ground-breaking ceremony for a Vietnam-funded hospital in Laos' Houaphan province (Source: nhandan.com)
Vientiane (VNA) – Construction began on a Vietnam-funded hospital in Laos’ northern province of Houaphan on January 3.

Covering an area of 3 hectares, the Houaphan Friendship Hospital project will be built at a cost of 400 billion VND (roughly 20 million USD) sourced from non-refundable aid, the largest-ever sum the Vietnamese Government and people have granted to Laos.

With 200 beds, the hospital will specialise in treating digestive, kidney and urologic diseases.

The project will also provide medical equipment and training.

Addressing the ground-breaking ceremony, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said the project forms part of the Vietnam-Laos cooperation strategy in Xieng Khouang and Houaphan provinces.

It also showed how much the Vietnamese Party, State and people cared for the health of Lao ethnic groups, especially those in underprivileged areas, he said.

Khamvon Bounthavong, Deputy Secretary of the Houaphan provincial Party Committee, thanked the Vietnamese Government and people for their valuable support.

According to him, the 80-bed Houaphan General Hospital had failed to meet the local health care demands due to poor infrastructure and limited training.

Once operational, the new hospital is expected to help improve the quality of health care for local people while contributing to the special relations between Vietnam’s northern province of Thanh Hoa and Houaphan and the two countries in general, he said.

On January 2, a ground breaking ceremony was also held for the Xieng Khouang Friendship Hospital in northern Laos.

This is the largest medical infrastructure development project Vietnam has committed to in northern Laos through non-refundable aid.-VNA