Though nominally communist, Laos abolished free health care in the 1990s, and only spends 0.5 percent of GDP on health service, among the lowest rates in the world.
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Through objective, timely reporting and news analysis, Radio Free Asia (RFA) takes an unflinching look at topics and developments affecting the lives of ordinary citizens living in China, Vietnam, North Korea, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar ? six Asian countries that limit free press and restrict access to media. RFA?s Mandarin, Tibetan, Cantonese, Uyghur, Vietnamese, Korean, Lao, Khmer (Cambodian), and Burmese services uncover the truth behind issues often deemed too sensitive to be covered accurately or with deserved attention in state-controlled media and local news outlets that self-censor. Our journalists often utilize vast networks of cultivated, reliable sources and receive tips from citizen journalists and eyewitnesses on the ground to break exclusive news in some of the world?s toughest media environments.
Through news broadcasts, online engagement, and call-in shows, RFA also serves as an open forum, allowing listeners to discuss freely their views and perspectives. RFA reaches its audiences through webcast video, television, satellite, social media networks, and digital multimedia content on its websites, in addition to trusted short- and medium-wave radio broadcasts. RFA began broadcasting in September 1996, when its Mandarin Service aired its first report. A private, non-profit organization, RFA is funded by an annual grant through the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).