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International Healthcare in Vietnam



Healthcare in Vietnam

In general, the healthcare situation in Vietnam is good. The population enjoy high life expectancy (average 70.61 years old) and low infant mortality rate (2.595% as revealed in 2005 data). However the country still has a malnutrition problem, this is especially a big challenge for the rural and suburb areas residents. While life expectancy and infant mortality are slightly better than average compared to under-developed economies, but this has been the situation for long times, hence no clear sign of improvement. Vietnam spends close to 0.9% of the country’s gross domestic product (or GDP) on healthcare investment to beef up the public sector's infrastructure. For any poor Vietnamese who is seeking medical treatment, a subsidy of 20% would be granted by the government, so effectively the concerned citizen pay for 80% of medical bills, which is considered a big burden for the really poor.

Public Healthcare in Vietnam

 Public healthcare in Vietnam is not a new concept. When the country was still split into north and south regions, the North has actually started healthcare that extended to the hamlet level. After the Vietnamese war, the new government unified the public healthcare system and extended the benefits to the south as well. It was then business as usual until the late 80s when the recession posed about some real challenges, they are:

  • Difficulty in federal funding,
  • when the central government began to delegate healthcare responsibility to the provinces, it resulted uneven redistribution and
  • beginning of 'charged' healthcare services in Vietnam.

 Shortage of fund from the government meant difficulty in maintenance of water and sewage systems, which gave rise to a multitude of infectious diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dengue fever and malaria. New construction and refurbishment of hospitals were slowed down, directly impacting the livelihood of thousands of healthcare workers such as nurses and midwifes. World Bank’s report released in 2000 indicated that Vietnam has about 250,000 hospital beds at that time nationwide, which basically translate to just 14.8 beds for every 10,000 residents. The ratio was a big worry especially compared to the leaps and bounds of improvement in healthcare provisions made by developing Asian nations during that period.

Infectious diseases in Vietnam

On the positive side, the country has been able to deal with certain infectious diseases successfully. Diseases such as malaria is said to be under control and this is demonstrated by the fact that malaria-induced deaths have been cut down to just 5% from its peak during early 90s. This impressive result is helped by the effective anti-malarial drugs and treatment that was brought into Vietnam from donor countries. The country still has to grapple with the challenge posed by tuberculosis (TB). It is a major killer and claims up to 57 deaths on daily basis – based on data released in 2004. Vietnam has taken initiatives to effectively combat TB and among some of the measures are:  

  • intensifying nation-wide vaccination programs,
  • promoting public hygiene education, and
  • soliciting foreign expertise for helps.

 In the South East Asia Region, Vietnam is one country that is severely affected by human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS).

Finding a suitable Health Insurance in Vietnam

If you travel to Vietnam it is important to be covered by a suitable Health Insurance which will cover you in case of unexpected disease or accident. We can help you select the most appropriate healthcare plan in Vietnam either for yourself or your family.

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