For people without health insurance immediate cash payment is expected at most Vietnamese medical facilities; however, due to the overall low standard of medical services it is essential that any foreign national living in Vietnam should have a comprehensive international health insurance policy with an emergency evacuation and repatriation benefit.
Vietnam Medical Insurance News
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.
Vietnam is one of Asia’s leading developing nations, as such the country is seeing an economic and social boom never before experienced in the area.
Official Name: Socialist Republic of Vietnam, abbreviated to SRV and more commonly known simply as Vietnam.
Capital: The capital of Vietnam is Hanoi.
Location: Vietnam is located is South East Asia and shares land borders with Laos, Cambodia and China. The country is situated alongside the Gulf of Thailand, Gulf of Tonkin, and the South China Sea.
Size: Vietnam occupies a total area of 329,560 square kilometers. In comparative land area the country is slightly larger than the American state of New Mexico.
Climate: Vietnam experiences tropical weather in the south and a sub tropical monsoon climate in the north. The northern highland areas are much cooler than the south and will often experience freezing temperatures in the winter. The wet season occurs in the south of the country from May until November and it is typical to see rain in the central regions of the country from December until February. There is a strong possibility of typhoons between July and October, and these will normally impact only the Northern and Central areas of the country.
Population: Vietnam has a total population of approximately 85.26 million people.
Life expectancy at birth: The total life expectancy at birth in the country is 71.07 years of age, however the average life expectancy for males is lower at 68.27 years, and females higher at 74.08.
Prevalence of HIV/AIDS: Roughly 0.4% of the country's total population has HIV/AIDS this is equal to approximately 340,000 people.
Major illnesses: There are a number of high disease risks throughout the country these risks include food and waterborne illnesses such as bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever. Vector borne illness risks throughout the country include, Japanese encephalitis, dengue fever, malaria, and even plague in certain locations. In addition to this rabies, leptospirosis and H5N1 (bird flu) have all been identified in the country, and as such all due care should be taking during any trip to Vietnam.
Ethnic Groups: There are a number of ethnic groups located throughout Vietnam in order of population percentage these are; Viet 82.6%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.7%, Muong 1.5%, Khome 1.4%, Hoa 1.1%, Nun 1.1%, Hmong 1%, Miscellaneous others 4.1%.
Languages: The official language of the country is Vietnamese, traditionally French was the favored second language for the majority of the population, however, English is increasingly replacing it in this role. Chinese and Khmer are spoken throughout the north.
Religion: Vietnam is a communist state and as such there is no official state religion. There are a number of religions that are observed by the local population and in order of precedence these are; none 80.8%, Buddhist 9.3%, Catholic 6.7%, Hoa Hao 1.5%, Cao Dai 1.1%, Protestant 0.5%, and 0.1% of the total population observes Islam.
Government: Vietnam is a communist state. As such there is strong government influence in throughout the country with special attention being paid to the Vietnamese economy and industry.
Head of State: President Nguyen Minh Triet.
Head of Government: Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Military: Vietnam commits a large percentage of its GDP towards military spending. There is compulsory military service for any male over the age of 18, and males are required to spend a minimum of two years serving in one of the country's armed forces. At present there are approximately 16 million males fit for military service.
Economy: Vietnam is one of the fastest developing economies in South East Asia. In the years from 1986 -1997 the country took significant steps towards reducing the poverty line and achieving substantial economic growth. Through high levels of government regulation, Vietnam has been able to stabilize its stock market and compete with nations throughout the region that have already established themselves as economic powerhouses. By maintaining focused commitment on export driven trade, the country has virtually eliminated “deep poverty” (individuals earning less than US$1 a day) and now has a smaller portion of its population living in poverty than China, India and the Philippines.
GDP: The GDP purchasing power parity for Vietnam is US$262.8 Billion with an official exchange rate of US$48.43.
Vietnam Travel Tips
Vietnam is a country that has, in recent years, experienced a surge in popularity from international expatriates. Visitors may be traveling to the country for the serene beauty of the nations many lush forests and beaches. The Red River delta in the north and the Mekong delta in the south have long been infamous tourist destinations. In recent years however, more and more expatriates are moving to the country to take full advantage of the economic opportunities that have come from the countries rapidly developing stock market. Whatever the reason for your trip to Vietnam, we have provided some information that you should keep in mind during your travels throughout the country.
The overall level of crime in the country is low. However, incidents of petty theft are increasing in the major cities and tourist resorts. There were several reported assaults against tourists in Ha Long Bay and Nha Trang. As a consequence you should take sensible precautions when traveling in the country.
Never walk in secluded or dark streets and parks. Always leave your valuables in a safe place, and only carry a photocopy of your passport when in public.
There is a high global risk of terrorism. Visitors to Vietnam should be aware that there has been a high incidence of terrorist attacks throughout South East Asia, and as such all due precautions are advised.
Vietnam has a single party government that does welcome open dissent. Be aware that if you are convicted of crimes against the Vietnamese government the penalties could be severe. Do not engage in any forms of protest of political dissention while in the country.
Do not participate in any drug related activities while in Vietnam. A conviction of possessing, trafficking or attempted distribution of narcotics can mean severe consequences including the death penalty. The Vietnamese justice system is poorly developed and the quality of prisons in the country is poor.
Nationals of countries other than Vietnam are not allowed to invite Vietnamese citizens back to their hotel rooms for any purpose. This is considered a serious offence.
In all cases Visas are needed in order to enter Vietnam. Visas are usually valid for a period of one month. In the event that an individual overstays their visa there can be serious consequences such as fines, imprisonment, and deportation.
There are some serious health issues in Vietnam. The country experiences regular episodes of endemic Dengue fever. Malaria and Japanese encephalitis are also common throughout the country. As such, it is advised that you receive all relevant vaccines prior to traveling to the country. If you are unsure as to what vaccinations are needed, consult a medical professional.
Due to the high rate of inflation in the Vietnamese currency many travelers prefer not to carry local money. The US Dollar is a widely accepted form of money and can be used almost anywhere. Credit cards are usually only accepted in the major cities and tourist areas and ATM's are not readily available. It is advised that you bring enough money with you to cover your entire stay.
There is considerable risk throughout Vietnam of seasonal typhoons and flooding. If there is a typhoon during your stay in the country remain alert for any government announcements and follow all official directions.
Our team of expert staff is able to assist you with all your Vietnam health related enquiries. Should you require more information about the products and services that we can offer to people in the country, or if you would like to receive a free international health insurance quote for Vietnam, please contact us today.