Vietnam Medical Insurance
Prior to 1986, when Vietnam instituted its economic renovation, or "Doi Moi", the country was seen as a relatively backwards nation due to its poor economy, even though the Vietnamese government was socially progressive in its public reforms. The development, in recent years, in the Vietnamese healthcare industry from increased foreign investment, and decreased government regulation, has seen, in some instances, the Vietnamese healthcare sector becoming one of the best in the South East Asian region.
Healthcare in Vietnam was, for many years, closely controlled and regulated by the Vietnamese government. Since the country opened itself up for privatization however, the healthcare industry has seen some of the largest amounts of private foreign investment of any industry sector. This has enabled the country to create stronger healthcare infrastructure based on the already successful government models that were previously in place.
The high amount of new investment has enabled the Vietnamese healthcare industry to explore business models that were previously not available, and has seen the majority of private hospitals and medical facilities follow an American style outlook. What this means however, is that due to the lack of government control now present in the Vietnamese healthcare industry, prices and costs of treatment at the best hospitals have risen sharply. These facilities now cost so much that many Vietnamese nationals cannot afford treatment at these locations and must instead go to secondary hospitals and clinics.
Though the overall cost of treatment may have risen much higher than the local populace can afford, comparatively Vietnamese treatment costs are equivalent to those found in countries such as Germany, Finland, or Austria. Thailand, one of the countries in the Asian region that is renowned for its medical tourism industry, has marginally lower costs for medical treatment than Vietnam, and in the future could possibly see the Socialist state as a major competitor in the medical tourism industry.
Even though costs in Vietnam are generally low, the overall quality of treatment is of a good standard. However, it is important to be aware that outside of the major cities treatment facilities will not be of the standard that many expatriates are used to. It is important that when you travel to Vietnam you have comprehensive health insurance as many hospitals will not admit foreign nationals without proof that they are able to settle their bills. In addition to this, Vietnam is a large country with lots of wilderness, in the event of a serious accident in an isolated location it can be hard to receive the help that you need. If you are planning on hiking or visiting the jungles in Vietnam, an international health insurance plan with an emergency evacuation benefit is must have protection.
Overall the standards of treatment in Vietnam are good, and as the country has only just started to privatize its healthcare system the costs associated with treatment are still relatively low. However, in the future large amounts of investment are expected and this will drive up the costs associated with the healthcare industry. It is important that when you are in Vietnam, you take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from any medical situation.