Vietnam is one of the fastest developing countries in South East Asia and is growing as a tourist attraction with every passing day. Its growing infrastructure, development in technology, upliftment of real estate and improvements in healthcare is an example for many other Asian countries. In earlier times, Healthcare and medical facilities in Vietnam were not only inadequate but also weren’t developed enough to provide high quality services to those in need. But in the past few years, the government of Vietnam has tried its best to improve the quality of services by opening up new and modern hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities.
Vietnam is now seen as a destination where many foreigners wish to retire. One of the major reasons for this is the upliftment of the medical system and health facilities. This country is currently working on the development of a new healthcare system which is aimed at covering all the residents and providing to them the best of the medical facilities and amenities.
When this system is completely developed, each citizen will be entitled to the basic facilities of healthcare. The Thailand government is helping Vietnam in developing this system which has been strongly influenced by Thailand’s healthcare system. It is expected that this new law will be in effect by the year 2014.
Currently, the Vietnamese government invests only a very small percentage of its GDP to the healthcare field. This means that most of the Vietnamese people have to pay for their health and medical services from their own earnings. Especially if a person is visiting a clinic, then he/she has to spend money from his pocket because the services there are better. So if you are an expat on a visit to Vietnam, then it is best for you to take out private health insurance to cover the day to day healthcare costs as long as you stay in the country.
Quality of Medical Care
Since the year 1990, there has been vast improvement in the quality and standard of the medical care provided to people. The average life expectancy of the Vietnamese people is 72 and there has been a significant decrease in the child mortality rate as well. But there is still a lot that the government needs to improve this sector further. In smaller towns or rural areas, the availability and quality of healthcare services is not upto the mark as opposed to in the bigger cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City etc. The government has passed certain reforms which are expected to change this situation in Vietnam.
Hospitals and Doctors
If you are staying in Hanoi or any other big city of Vietnam, then you will not face any kind of difficulty in locating a doctor or a hospital. Many doctors work in hospitals or in private clinics. In Hanoi, there are about 5 big hospitals which are sufficient to look after its population. There are also 2 dental clinics and also a branch of the international SOS clinic in this capital city of Vietnam.
Health Threats and The Common Diseases
Overall, living in Vietnam is free from any major diseases of health related threats. But like any other country, catching an infectious disease or any kind of health threat is not unheard of. In most parts, Hepatitis A and B are diseases which are found to be commonly affecting many people. In the countryside areas, where hygiene is not upto the mark, these diseases are widespread.
Some other diseases which are extremely common in rural areas and even some bigger cities include typhoid fever, dengue fever and malaria. So if you are going to visit Vietnam or are planning to move there, make sure you get all necessary vaccinations from the doctor to secure yourself from these health threats and diseases.
Apart from this, many Vietnamese people have to cope with the after effects of the Vietnam War and the biological warfare as well. The biological weapon Agent Orange was widely used during these times and wasn’t successful in destroying fields and crops. Infact is entered the food chain and also into the human body. People today have to bear the brunt of it and hence many women experience miscarriages and abnormal physical and mental growth of their child.
Data by World Health Organisation (WHO) on Vietnam
World Health Organisation has conducted surveys and research of the healthcare in Vietnam and according to the data gathered, the organisation has come to certain statistical information which is given as follows:
Life expectancy at birth m/f(years) 73/77
Probability of dying under 5( per 1000 live births) 23
Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f( per 1000 live births) 128/87
Total expenditure on health per capita 231
Total expenditure on health as % of GDP 6.8