Vietnam: a Rising Dragon in the Medical Tourism Realm
Vietnam is nothing short of sensory bombardment. Its two cities, Hanoi in the north and Saigon in the south, act as urban bookends to a sprawling rural landscape dominated by rice farming and stunning coastal scenery. The Vietnamese are incredibly friendly people but they’re a nation on the move, and medical tourism is one sector they are attempting to conquer. Expect attentive hospital service and prices that will make you blush.
Why choose Vietnam for travel and treatment?
Vietnam is the underdog of Southeast Asia’s booming medical tourism industry, but that may not last for long. The country has two main medical centers, Hanoi and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), that provide most of the healthcare to foreign patients. There is even a dedicated medical tourism resort at Vung Tao called Medicoast for a more relaxing healthcare experience.
Most visitors choose Vietnam for the cost. Most medical procedures are even cheaper than in neighboring Thailand and India, which translates to very affordable. The costs of other services like eating, lodging and shopping are equally inexpensive. Vietnam’s climate is another draw, as its weather is warm and humid most of the year.
The countryside is some of the most verdant and beautiful on the planet, offering countless attractions both along the sea and in the lush interior. UNESCO towns like Hoi An and Hue offer an ancient perspective on this country, while bustling cities like Hanoi have all the culture and verve you can ask for.
Its Asian location is a bit distant from countries like America, the UK and Europe. But considering the vacation options in Vietnam, it is well worth the journey. The top hospitals and clinics in Vietnam are staffed by highly trained doctors and contain excellent facilities. The government has a vested interest in promoting the nation as a medical tourism hub, so the quality and selection of healthcare is steadily expanding
Medical Facilities in Vietnam
Most visitors come to Vietnam for casual healthcare like spa treatments and cosmetic surgery due to its long tradition of massage and aesthetic enhancement. Standard medical treatment is gaining pace, however, as the levels of quality and equipment improve. The top hospitals in Saigon, such as FV Hospital, are world-class, offering the full range of procedures from hip replacements to heart surgery and LASIK eye care.
Vietnam's Hospitals and International Standards of Care
There are around 50 surgery centers in Saigon alone, eight of which are general hospitals and the others specialized clinics. Purpose-built medical tourism centers like Vung Tau’s Medicoast offer luxury resort accommodations with comprehensive medical facilities. Since Vietnam is a newcomer to this field, the majority of private clinics and doctors are not regulated or approved by the government. Out of the 200 or so plastic surgery clinics in Saigon, only a quarter are accredited. There is excellent healthcare available but it’s essential to do your research first.
Healthcare costs in Vietnam are up to 70% cheaper than in the US and the UK. A coronary artery bypass, for example, costs about US$12,000 in Vietnam compared to US$60,000 in America. A hip replacement runs less than US$2000, and most cosmetic procedures are significantly cheaper than in the UK and America.
Convalescence in Vietnam
If you want a one-stop medical tourism experience, just book yourself a stay at the new Medicoast center in Vung Tau. This seaside resort is as comfortable and all-inclusive as you’ll need and fully geared towards foreign patients. Of course, there are plenty of excellent hotels and resorts scattered up and down the length of Vietnam. The beaches outside of Saigon are some of the nicest in Asia and fully developed for tourism. You’ll probably want to avoid bustling cities like Saigon or Hanoi, but a quiet town like Dalat or Hue could be just the right mix of urban and rural atmosphere.
Vietnam Travel Information
Unless you’re Scandinavian, you’ll need to obtain a travel visa from your local Vietnamese consulate prior to departure. They are easy to get and relatively inexpensive. While Vietnamese is the official language of the country, medical staff and those in the tourism industry likely speak some English and French. The Vietnamese dong is the currency here, although US dollars are accepted at some places, and the electricity runs on 220V. By most standards, Vietnam is a very affordable country. Basic needs like food, drink and shopping are amazingly cheap, and even hotel rooms won’t set you back too much.
Vietnam Quick Facts
Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly popular), French
||Noi Bai International Airport (HAN)
Tan Son Nhat (SGN)