Laos - Country Commercial Guide
Pharmaceuticals,  Medical Supplies and Medical Equipment
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Laos has made considerable progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5, 6, and 7 (Health MDGs scorecard for LMICs* in the Western Pacific Region, 2016).  However, malnutrition among children less than five years old and a persistently high maternal mortality ratio still raises serious concerns.  Laos is a crisis country in terms of its healthcare workforce.  Weakness in health systems including health financing, health information system, health infrastructure and planning and management of health services persists.”

The WHO has reported that “the Ministry of Health remains the main provider of health services to the country.  In recent years, the Ministry has made significant progress in terms of health policy development and decentralization of health services to provincial, district and health center levels.  However, investment in health is still low and out-of-pocket spending remains high at about 42 percent and social health protection coverage is limited to 26.5 percent of the total population.  Health service provision is strained by a lack of qualified, adequately distributed staff, adequate infrastructure and affordable and regular drug supply and increased vulnerability to climate change.” Healthcare costs rose 42.2 percent year on year in January 2023.

The health care system in Laos is rudimentary but developing.  Maternal and child health is an important priority for the government as it seeks to graduate from Least Developed Country status by 2026.  The Ministry of Health controls the import of medical equipment, supplies, and pharmaceuticals. Refurbished medical equipment and low-cost pharmaceuticals are market possibilities, and at least one U.S. healthcare equipment provider has made several large sales in Laos.


World Health Organization: Lao People’s Democratic Republic