Hos­pi­tal gets makeover with Xi’s help

China pro­vides mil­lions of yuan, the lat­est med­i­cal de­vices in up­grade

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By AN BAIJIE in Vi­en­tiane and WANG XIAODONG in Bei­jing Con­tact the writ­ers at an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Lao­tian Pres­i­dent Bounnhang Vo­ra­chith jointly at­tended a cer­e­mony on Tues­day to start the project of mod­ern­iz­ing a cen­tury-old hos­pi­tal in Vi­en­tiane with Chi­nese as­sis­tance.

The two lead­ers laid the cor­ner­stone for the up­grade project of Ma­hosot Hos­pi­tal, which was the first hos­pi­tal in Laos, built in 1910.

With a to­tal cost of 700 mil­lion yuan ($105 mil­lion), the ren­o­vated hos­pi­tal will have 600 beds. In ad­di­tion to build­ing a new struc­ture, China also will do­nate new med­i­cal equip­ment to the hos­pi­tal. The ren­o­va­tion is sched­uled to be fin­ished in 2021.

After the cer­e­mony, Xi and Bounnhang talked with Chi­nese oph­thal­mol­o­gists who were on an as­sis­tance project to re­move Lao­tian peo­ples’ cataracts for free.

Xi called the Chi­nese doc­tors am­bas­sadors for bright­ness and friend­ship, say­ing they have not only brought sight to Lao­tian pa­tients, but also con­tributed to the friend­ship be­tween the peo­ple of the two coun­tries.

With Xi and Bounnhang look­ing on, Chi­nese med­i­cal work­ers re­moved the ban­dages of two Lao­tian pa­tients — re­tired teacher Malaisouk, 71, and re­tired sol­dier Kham­sieng, 77 — who have re­cov­ered from treat­ment for cataracts.

Xi con­grat­u­lated them on their re­gained eye­sight and wished them a healthy life.

The Chi­nese pres­i­dent said he paid much at­ten­tion to im­prov­ing peo­ple’s liveli­hoods in China’s over­seas as­sis­tance projects.

In Laos, China’s as­sis­tant funds will mainly be used to im­prove health con­di­tions, build in­fra­struc­ture for ru­ral ar­eas and al­le­vi­ate poverty, Xi said.

The as­sis­tance should fo­cus on not only hard­ware and fa­cil­i­ties like mod­ern build­ings but also soft­ware ser­vices, Xi said. He also en­cour­aged more pol­icy ex­changes be­tween the health author­i­ties of the two coun­tries.

Boun­thaphany Bounx­ouei, direc­tor gen­eral of Ma­hosot Hos­pi­tal, said the hos­pi­tal will be up­graded to in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

“We hope that it will at­tract more peo­ple to re­ceive treat­ment at the hos­pi­tal. It will also re­duce peo­ple cross­ing the bor­der for med­i­cal treat­ment in neigh­bor­ing coun­tries,” he told the Lao­tian Times.

Zhang Shun­hua, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor from Pek­ing Union Med­i­cal Col­lege Hos­pi­tal’s Oph­thal­mol­ogy Depart­ment, said she ar­rived at Ma­hosot Hos­pi­tal on Nov 5 with 13 other Chi­nese doc­tors and nurses. The Chi­nese med­i­cal team is ex­pected to con­duct op­er­a­tions on hun­dreds of lo­cal cataract pa­tients dur­ing their stay of about half a month, she said.

Since her ar­rival, she has com­pleted more than 60 op­er­a­tions, she said.

“Com­pared with cases in Bei­jing, pa­tients here in gen­eral had more se­ri­ous con­di­tions, which de­mand higher skills,” she said. “Many of them had their con­di­tions wors­ened due to de­lays see­ing a doc­tor.”

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