The Ministry of Health has confirmed that children will receive free healthcare at government hospitals within the next three months. The initiative is aimed at encouraging more parents to take their sick children to hospital and reduce the high rate of mortality among children under five. Health authorities said they have already announced the policy on free healthcare for the under-fives at government hospitals. However, many hospitals in Vientiane and some provinces have not yet implemented the scheme because they haven’t received government funding to support it. Director General of the Hygiene and Health Promotion Department under the Ministry of Health, Dr Phath Keungsaneth, talked to Vientiane Times by telephone yesterday about the importance of the new policy and the plans to put it into action.