Medical Tourism in Vietnam 

HO CHI MINH City has emerged as medical tourism destination due to its fast-growing health services and medical technologies, according to local authorities. 

Vietnam offers relatively affordable medical services. This sets Vietnam apart from other medical tourism destinations like Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. 

Estimates that Vietnam currently attracts an average of 300,000 foreign visitors each year for medical examination and treatment, with Ho Chi Minh City the preferred destination for 40%  of these medical tourists. 

The number of overseas Vietnamese and foreigners visiting Vietnam for medical tourism has increased steadily over the past few years, according to the city’s Department of Tourism. 

Treatments span the full range of medical services, with the most common choices of services including dental care, cosmetic surgery, cardiology intervention and fertility treatment. 

 

Last year, more than 357,000 foreign patients visited hospitals in Vietnam for medical check-ups and treatment, with in-patients accounting for 57,000, generating revenue worth US$2 billion. 
HCM City accounted for 40 per cent of the number of foreign patients. The HCM City University Medical Centre, a popular destination for foreign tourists, receives an average of 40-50 foreign patients a day. 

 

Au Thanh Tung, head of the hospital’s general planning department, said: “Foreign patients from nearly 80 countries have visited the hospital for medical treatment, with Laos and Cambodia accounting for 80 per cent.” 

The main drivers of medical tourism development are highly competent doctors, modern infrastructure and advanced technology as well as better-quality care.” 

Dentistry costs in Vietnam are three to ten times lower than in other Asian countries, according to the Health Ministry’s Medical Services Administration. 

Despite high quality care and lower cost, the number of dental tourists is still modest compared to the total number of foreign visitors to the country. 

 

An average of 100,000 foreign patients have received dental care with annual revenue of VND3.5 billion ($151,200) in recent years. 

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While Vietnam may not yet match up to traditional medical tourism heavyweights like Thailand or India, it is carving out a niche for itself in specialized fields such as dental care, cosmetic surgery, and cardiology. The government’s focus on improving healthcare quality and infrastructure signifies its commitment to becoming a formidable player in the global medical tourism industry. 

Renowned Hospitals and Clinics 

  • Hospital A: Internationally accredited and specializes in cardiology and neurology. 
  • Clinic B: Known for its excellence in cosmetic surgery and dermatology. 
  • Medical Center C: Focuses on comprehensive healthcare, including general surgery and internal medicine. 

Many medical institutions in Vietnam are accredited by international healthcare organizations, ensuring they meet global standards. Additionally, they often have affiliations with renowned medical institutions worldwide for research and training purposes. 

Hospitals and clinics in Vietnam are often equipped with cutting-edge technology and have won awards for their innovative medical practices and patient care services. 

Why Consider Vietnam for Medical Tourism?

Vietnam excels in providing high-quality dental care, including cutting-edge procedures like dental implants and teeth whitening at relatively low costs. Additionally, the country has made advancements in cardiology, particularly in the area of minimally invasive cardiac procedures. 

Vietnam draws tourists from around the world to its amazing natural attractions including the beautiful beaches of Con Dao Islands, the Marble Mountains, and the Temple of Literature in Hanoi. Now, more and more people are traveling to Vietnam for something completely different – dental care. Enter Vietnam’s burgeoning dental tourism industry. 

 

Vietnam revamped its dental care services to world-class standards in the last decade, attracting patients from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Today, more than 100,000 tourists from these countries visit Vietnam for cutting-edge dental procedures, contributing more than $150million to the country’s dental industry. 

 

In addition to top-notch dental care, Vietnam is remodeling other specialties to cater to international patients, especially in the fields of cardiology, oncology, and eye surgery. With world-class hospitals such as the Franco-Vietnamese Hospital (FV Hospital), Cao Thang International Eye Hospital, and Vinmec International Hospital, which has exceptional an outstanding reputation in oncology and organ transplantation, Vietnam hopes to expand its niche in medical travel beyond dental care in the coming years. 

Cost Comparison

Comparative Data on Popular Procedures

When it comes to cost, Vietnam offers significantly lower prices compared to Western countries and even some Asian countries. For example, a dental implant that might cost around $3,000 to $4,500 in the United States could be performed for $900 to $1,500 in Vietnam. Similarly, heart surgeries that could cost upwards of $30,000 in the United States might be done for as low as $10,000 to $15,000 in Vietnam. 

Price Ranges 

Although the cost of procedures can vary depending on the facility and the specific needs of the patient, here are some general ranges for popular treatments: 

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Dental Care

$ 100 - 1,500
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Cosmetic Surgery

$ 1000 - 5,000
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Cardiology Procedures

$ 5000 - 2,0000
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Orthopedic Surgery

$ 4000- 1,5000

Medical Tourism in vietnam

Medical Standards and Practices 

Vietnam has increasingly adopted international medical standards, and its healthcare professionals are often trained in Western countries. Medical institutions usually utilize advanced equipment and technologies to ensure the highest standard of care. 

 

Accreditation Systems and Regulatory Bodies 

The country has a robust accreditation system governed by national health authorities. Many hospitals seek and maintain international certifications as well. 

 

Patient Safety Protocols and Rights 

Vietnam takes patient safety seriously. Medical facilities often have stringent infection control protocols and use sterilized equipment. Moreover, patients' rights are enshrined in the healthcare laws, ensuring informed consent and confidentiality. 

Legal Rights of Patients 

Patients have the right to informed consent, confidentiality, and quality care, as outlined in Vietnamese healthcare laws. 

 

Medical Malpractice and Recourse 

Vietnam has a legal framework for addressing medical malpractice, though the system may not be as robust as in some Western countries. Legal recourse is available but can be a lengthy process. 

 

Ethical Considerations 

It's essential to verify the credentials of medical facilities and be aware of the ethical implications of certain treatments, particularly elective procedures like cosmetic surgery. 

Advantages 

Among the benefits of choosing Vietnam are the lower costs, high-quality healthcare, and the opportunity to combine medical treatment with tourism. 

Risks 

The risks may include communication barriers and varying standards of care, particularly in less urbanized areas. 

 

Post-procedure Care 

Post-operative Care 

Vietnamese medical institutions usually offer comprehensive post-operative care, including detailed recovery plans and follow-up consultations. 

Availability and Quality of Rehabilitation Centers 

While not as prevalent as in Western countries, rehabilitation centers do exist and generally offer high-quality care. 

Medical tourism / Healthcare  

Vietnam’s healthcare system is a combination of Eastern and Western medicine.  

Healthcare and medical tourism products in Ho Chi Minh City are based on a system of 131 hospitals, both public and private, such as:  

 

Tu Du Hospital, Hospital of Odonto-Stomatology, Traditional Medicine Hospital, Heart Institute, Franco-Vietnamese (FV) Hospital, and Vinmec Hospital 

Their doctors and nurses have high professional qualifications in cosmetic dentistry services, treatment of infertility, heart diseases and dermatology. 

Visitors are interested in three services namely overall

Health checkup, Health screening and advanced treatment techniques and traditional medicine.

A guide to medical tourism will be revised with clear and concise information and in more languages for tourists to learn about available medical tourism programmes and experiences 

Vietnam is developing a project to attract overseas Vietnamese and foreigners to use high-quality medical services in Vietnam .In the year  2021-2030 period, initially in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Hue, Da Nang and Khanh Hoa. 

With a system of modern hospitals and medical facilities that meet regional and international standards, Ho Chi Minh City is capable of receiving patients who are both domestic and international tourists who need treatment and health care, and is making use of its potential to well develop this type of tourism.. 

 

Notably, the cost of medical examination and treatment in Ho Chi Minh City is also very reasonable. 
Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Bui Thi Ngoc Hieu affirmed that the city’s medical tourism products are eligible to attract domestic and ASEAN tourists. 
Recently, the tourism department has collaborated with 50 hospitals, medical centres, spas, travel agencies, and accommodation providers to create about 30 products. 

 

Medical tourism in Vietnam 

In this respect, Vietnam is gradually gaining recognition as a preferred destination for medical tourism, particularly in the field of dental care due to its commendable quality and affordability, according to International Living. In particular, dental procedures in Vietnam are substantially more cost-effective compared to the United States, while still maintaining a high standard of care. 

Vietnam’s major towns and cities have international dental clinics with English-speaking dentists, attracting foreign patients from the US, Australia, and Europe. These patients benefit from cost savings and cultural experiences, often extending their stay to engage in tourism activities. 

Vietnam’s medical tourism advantages 

In a LinkedIn post, Noted that Vietnam boasts four JCI-accredited hospitals, with doctors and nurses accredited by prestigious organizations like JCI and ISO. 

 Vietnam offers relatively affordable medical services. This sets Vietnam apart from other medical tourism destinations like Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. For example, heart bypass surgery costs US$10,000-US$15,000 in Vietnam whereas in Thailand it costs from US$25,000-US$30,000. 

Furthermore, Vietnam’s allure extends beyond healthcare, offering a rich cultural heritage and history. Tourists can admire natural wonders like Ha Long Bay and enjoy the warm tropical climate. An abundance of natural hot springs further enhances its appeal as a health and wellness destination, he said. 

Finally, Vietnamese people are known for their warm hospitality and amiable nature, contributing to a positive medical tourism experience in Vietnam. Their eagerness to assist tourists and accommodate their needs is evident. 

Medical tourism growth drivers in HO CHI MINH CITY 

General health check-ups, disease screening, and specialized techniques, including traditional medicine, are all becoming more popular in Ho Chi Minh City. To capitalize on this trend, travel businesses in HCMC have partnered with medical facilities to design a selection of more than 30 medical tourism products in 2023. 

In light of this trend, the Ho Chi Minh City  has collaborated with more than 50 establishments, including hospitals, medical facilities, spas, travel agencies, and accommodation providers.  

 

Among these institutions are: 

Gia An Hospital, City International Hospital, Heart Institute Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City Institute of Ethnic Medicine and Pharmacy, as well as AB Travel International Company Limited. 

These tourism products are designed to provide healthcare services at esteemed and reputable hospitals, along with opportunities to experience high-class amenities, fine dining, shopping, and resort experiences, all complemented by visits to renowned landmarks and destinations in Ho Chi Minh City. 

 

Moreover, the Vinmec Health Care System, founded in 2012, has significantly contributed to raising Vietnam’s international healthcare standards. With four full-service hospitals and two outpatient clinics, Vinmec International Hospital in Hanoi and FV Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City have both obtained JCI accreditation. They both have English-speaking medical staff and comprehensive services. 

Establishments like Family Medical Practice and SOS International also deliver good but relatively expensive outpatient medical care and have branches around Vietnam. Both Family Medical Practice and SOS International boast English-speaking staff. 

Vietnam’s medical tourism industry has made significant strides in recent years, offering a promising blend of high-quality healthcare services, cost-effectiveness, and a rich cultural experience for visitors. The country has witnessed notable advancements in its healthcare infrastructure, with internationally accredited hospitals and clinics emerging in key cities. The integration of traditional medicine with modern approaches further enhances the diverse offerings in medical tourism. 

Despite these achievements, the sector faces challenges that require attention and strategic planning. The lack of a comprehensive policy orientation and coordination between various sectors calls for cohesive efforts to foster sustainable growth and professionalism in healthcare tourism. 

Additionally, addressing environmental concerns and ensuring sufficient capital investment in resort tourism are essential steps to elevate the industry’s overall resilience and development. 

Vietnam looks to develop medical tourism to better serve holidaymakers 

Vietnam holds great potential in medical tourism development as it boasts a lot of mineral hot springs and mud, and has many areas with temperate climate, heard a webinar seeking ways to develop medical tourism in the country . 

 

Many experts forecast tourists will take long trips not only for sightseeing but also to access medical care to improve their health. 

Therefore, developing this type of tourism will help diversify Vietnam’s tourism products and lengthen tourists’ stay and increase their spending. 

Experts said that in Vietnam, the exploitation of resources to develop healthcare tourism has achieved certain successes.  

INTERNATIONAL PATIENTS

Medical Visa Information 

Guidelines and Requirements 

Visitors coming for medical treatment usually require a specific medical visa. Documentation from the medical facility confirming your treatment plan is essential for the visa process. 

Duration and Documentation Required 

Medical visas typically last for the duration of the treatment, with options to extend. Required documents often include a passport, photographs, proof of financial stability, and medical records, among others. 

Travel Advisories and Restrictions 

There are no specific travel advisories related to medical tourism in Vietnam. However, it’s recommended to check for any visa or travel restrictions, especially due to the dynamic nature of global health conditions. 

 

 

Travel & Accommodation 

Popular and Recommended Areas to Stay 

District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City and the Old Quarter in Hanoi are popular among tourists. Both areas have a variety of accommodations and are in proximity to top medical facilities. 

Proximity to Medical Facilities 

Most top-rated medical facilities are centrally located, offering easy access from major tourist areas. 

Transportation Facilities and Infrastructure 

Vietnam has a well-developed transportation network, making it easy to travel between your accommodation and medical facility. 

Post-procedure Relaxation Spots 

Vietnam offers numerous scenic locations, from the beaches of Da Nang to the mountainous regions of Sapa, ideal for post-procedure relaxation. 

 

Cultural Considerations 

Local Customs and Etiquette 

Vietnam has a rich cultural tapestry that places a high value on politeness and respect. Understanding local customs, such as bowing slightly when greeting someone, can enhance your experience. 

 

Language and Prevalence of English 

Vietnamese is the official language, but English is increasingly spoken in medical facilities, especially in cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. 

 

Dietary Considerations 

Vietnam offers a diverse range of food options, including vegetarian and vegan dishes. However, it’s important to communicate any dietary restrictions clearly. 

 

Historical and Cultural Significance in Medicine 

Vietnam has a long-standing tradition of medicine dating back centuries. Influenced by Chinese medicine and local herbal knowledge, Vietnamese medicine emphasizes a holistic approach to health. There are hospitals and clinics that offer traditional treatments alongside modern medical services, giving patients a comprehensive range of options. The intermingling of ancient practices and modern science adds a unique flavor to the country’s medical landscape, and it’s something that many medical tourists find appealing. 

In recent years, Vietnam has made significant strides in medical research and technology. Investments in state-of-the-art medical equipment and training programs for healthcare professionals have propelled the country’s healthcare services to international standards. Additionally, Vietnam has received numerous accolades for its healthcare initiatives, which include successful public health campaigns and innovative medical treatments. 

Why vietnam Is The Best Choice For Medical Tourism

Vietnam: A land of beauty and welcome surprises”, Emphasing Vietnam is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning landscapes, historic sites, and cultural attractions.

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