Expats who live in Vietnam often report that the standard of the country’s public hospitals is not on par with what they would be accustomed to.
Public hospitals in Vietnam are often underfunded and inadequately equipped. Doctors and medical staff at these facilities generally only speak Vietnamese. Furthermore, waiting times can be frustratingly long. In rural areas, the quality and availability of healthcare is considerably worse, and in some of the more remote parts of the country public healthcare is almost non-existent.
For these reasons, it makes sense that expats as well as many Vietnamese people opt for private treatment wherever possible.
Thankfully, the standard of private hospitals in Vietnam is excellent and more or less in line with standards which most expats would be used to. Private hospitals in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City are often staffed by doctors and medical professionals who completed their studies in the USA, Korea, Japan and France. Furthermore, as doctors in these hospitals have often trained overseas, they are generally likely to speak good English and/or French.
Most basic treatment at private healthcare facilities will be covered by an international health insurance policy. The cost associated with specialists such as dentists or dermatologists can vary considerably so expats should research which elective treatments their health insurance policy covers. While prices for specialist treatment are still relatively cheaper than what one would pay in many other countries, practices which market themselves for expats tend to charge more than those that work with the local population.
As such, it is essential that all expats in Vietnam invest in comprehensive international health insurance to cover the high costs associated with private healthcare.