Project to lure foreign patients in Vietnamese hospitals

The Ministry of Health yesterday organized a conference in Ho Chi Minh City to collect opinions on the project “To lure patients including foreigners and Vietnamese in abroad and local high earners.

Project to lure foreign patients in Vietnamese hospitals

Generally, participants said that improving patient care has become a priority for all health care providers with the overall objective of achieving a high degree of patient satisfaction to lure foreign patients, Vietnamese living abroad and local high earners.
The quality of patient care is essentially determined by the quality of infrastructure, quality of training, competence of personnel and efficiency of operational systems.
38 year old S.Sokunthea woman from Cambodia has been taken to City International Hospital in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City in critical condition. The woman had undergone C-section City International Hospital in Cambodia and she haemorrhaged after the birth.
Accordingly, Cambodian surgeons had to cut her womb to stop bleeding but they failed. The woman fell in unconscious and had breathing problem.
After receiving two- week treatment in Vietnam’s City International Hospital, she recovered.
Cho Ray, Medical University center, Gia An 115, and Tumor Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City often admit foreign patients.
In first six months of the year, Medical University center has provided examination and treatment to 8,282 inpatients and 927 foreign outpatients meantime 1,793 outpatients have paid visits to Cho Ray Hospital and 292 of them, mostly Cambodian, Laotian, Chinese, American, Phillipino and Australian nationals.
Foreign patients have highly valued treatment quality and Vietnamese doctors’ skills.
Statistically, in first six months of the year, nearly 89,000 foreign people paid visits to hospitals in Vietnam and more than 10,100 of them are inpatients. Many foreign tourists come to Vietnam for heart surgery, dentistry, cancer and cosmetic surgery. Other health services such as spa, physical therapy and long-term rehabilitation are popular as well.
Medical experts raised their concern at the conference that around 40,000 Vietnamese patients spend more than US$2 billion on medical treatment abroad yearly. It is a foreign exchange drain because local doctors totally can meet patients’ increasing demand of medical services.
According to a leader of the Health Ministry’s Medical Service Administration, Vietnamese hospitals are highly valued for its good service; moreover, medical costs tend to be so low in Vietnam, many expats decided to choose Vietnam.
However, medical experts said the bottleneck of insurance should be removed to attract more patients from other countries. Presently, expats refused to continue treatment in hospitals in Vietnam after surgery because Vietnam don’t accept international insurance.
Worse, patient overload and lack of other healthcare services are shortcoming of Vietnam’s health sector in the eye of expats. Therefore, facilities should first be developed to attract patients who can afford to pay for high quality services.

By THANH AN – Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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