As one of Vietnam’s first tier cities, Ho Chi Minh’s healthcare infrastructure is better compared to the second and third tier cities. Still, many expatriates find the healthcare facilities and treatments in Ho Chi Minh are very limited –but the good news is that the quality and choice of health care for Ho Chi Minh City expats has been improving rapidly over the last few years.
It wasn’t long ago that expats from all over Vietnam, including Ho Chi Minh, would travel to overseas or further afield to receive good care, but now many expats from other parts of Vietnam will travel to Ho Chi Minh instead. The main choices for Ho Chi Minh expats’ medical care include the standard care provided by a public, state-run Ho Chi Minh hospital, the VIP care available at some public and private Ho Chi Minh hospitals, the high-end care provided by foreign managed international hospitals and clinics, or a combination of the above.
Local Ho Chi Minh Hospital Care
Should you decide to seek treatment at a local hospital, your level of Vietnamese should be proficient or otherwise bring along an interpreter. Be sure to arrive early register yourself if its your first time coming to the hospital. Thereafter, the doctor’s fee and medication are charged separately. These can be very inexpensive and you will be required to pay first. As expected with the low cost, the resources and level of service are extremely limited and basic. With the huge number of patients and visitors, a public hospital in Ho Chi Minh is not only crowded, but also far less clean than Westerners are accustomed to – meaning they can be rather grim the first time you enter one. Also, the long waiting times and the lack of communication/ understanding are clearly off-putting for many people seeking medical treatment. If you do plan on going to a local hospital and are not proficient in Vietnamese, take an interpreter along with you just in case!
In Ho Chi Minh, there are a number of international hospitals and clinics located in each expat community. These facilities, which are set up as joint-ventures, offer modern medical equipment, a hygienic environment, both well-trained western doctors and English speaking local doctors as well as staff who are sensitive to the cultural differences thus having better bedside manners. A wide range of general and specialty in- and outpatient services are provided. If major surgery is required, these medical centers have links with the major local hospitals that will provide full medical support whenever needed. If requested, your embassy should be able to provide you with a list of medical practitioners from your home country who are practicing in Ho Chi Minh.
Most expatriates feel at home with these facilities, but the comfort comes with a price tag. The average consultation fee of a General Practitioner is somewhere between 50-80 USD, which is more than double the local hospitals. Other charges for medication or required testing are calculated separately so your overall bill could be pretty high.
The foreigner/VIP clinics in Ho Chi Minh are typically departments of large public hospitals that provide outpatient services at a higher price than the ordinary clinic where most local patients go. These departments are staffed with English-speaking personnel and some, have doctors that can speak other foreign languages such as French or Korean. Unlike at the local hospitals, you can make an appointment with your preferred doctor. Some clinics may have certain doctors available only at certain times, so always make sure you call before you go. Referrals are not necessary but it helps if you do get one from a Western clinic. In Vietnam, having an introduction to the right doctor will save you a lot of time and frustration. The average consultation fee of a General Practitioner is 30-50 USD. Other charges for medication or required testing are calculated separately.
It is important to understand what your medical insurance plan will cover and how you can get reimbursed before using any services. If your plan is not extensive, then you should immediately let the doctor know your concerns about the fees, and ask them to go over them with you first.
Below there is a list of pupular Internatioal Hospitals & Clinics in Ho Chi Minh City:
- American International Hospital:
Address: 199 Nguyễn Hoàng, An Phú, Quận 2, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 70000, Vietnam
Phone: +84 28 39109999
- FV International Hospital
Address: 6 Nguyễn Lương Bằng, Tân Phú, Quận 7, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Phone: +84 28 54113333
- Vinmec International Hospital
208 Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh, Phường 22, Bình Thạnh, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 700000, Vietnam
- Raffles Medical International Clinic
Address: 167A Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa, Võ Thị Sáu, Quận 3, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
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