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The Local Healthcare Insurance System in Vietnam

The Vietnamese healthcare system has gone through many developments since the reforms of 1986: creation of the private sector, financial autonomy of public hospitals, improvement of hospital equipment, especially in large cities…
However, there are still some disparities in the level of access to healthcare between the urban and rural areas and also in the private sector which is poorly controlled by the State. 

The quality of healthcare is quite poor, which is why it is strongly recommended to take out private health insurance coverage providing access to a quality hospital network. In addition, in the event of an illness requiring major care, a medical evacuation must be considered. 

Doctors’ visits in Vietnam

GPs in Vietnam

In a general manner, doctors practice in hospitals. In the event of a serious condition, it is recommended to proceed with a medical evacuation to a neighboring country (Hong Kong, Thailand (Bangkok), Singapore) where more advanced medical technologies are available.

Consultation fees in the private sector can cost between VND 844 (USD 40) and VND 2,111 (USD 100).


Specialist doctors in Vietnam

Vietnamese people strongly value the Vietnamese traditional medicine which is very similar to the Chinese traditional medicine (acupuncture, plant-based remedies and exercises such as tai-chi and qi-gong as well as tui-na massages).

Being admitted to the hospital in Vietnam

Vietnamese hospitals

It is recommended to go to private hospitals in large cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh or Danang.

Public hospitals are often overcrowded, do not have the necessary equipment and qualified medical staff are lacking.

The quality of medical care may be different from one hospital to another and in the event of surgery, you usually need to make cash advances.

Private hospitals provide better services but the cost of medical care is high, which is why it is important to take out international healthcare insurance coverage in Vietnam.



As there are not enough ambulances, there are some illegal ambulances going around in large cities: we advise you to be vigilant.

Private hospitals have their own ambulance service; it is recommended to use these services in the event of an emergency.

Buying drugs in Vietnam

You need to be very careful when buying your drugs because counterfeit drugs are very common in Vietnam, even in “official” pharmacies. It is recommended to go to Vietnam with your entire treatment rather than buying it locally. Also, do not forget to bring your medical prescription with you; otherwise customs officers may seize the drugs.


If you need to buy drugs locally, make sure you check the expiry date (expired drugs are often ineffective and can cause poisoning). In addition it is recommended to buy drugs in the pharmacies of private hospitals or in the pharmacies recommended by the network of embassies.

Get your health insurance for Vietnam

MSH can help you design the best international health insurance plan to suit your needs.

Going for less than a year?  
We have the right health insurance plan to cover you for 1 to 12 months, whether it's for a personal project, an apprenticeship, a working holiday or any other reason.

Going for a year or more?
Explore our comprehensive and highly flexible health insurance solutions to protect you and your family while you're abroad.



Socialist Republic of Vietnam


Ho Chi Minh City




Marxist-Leninist one-party socialist republic



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