A new SE Asian medical hub?

According to The Phnom Penh Post, Vietnam is now emerging as a Southeast Asian hub for inbound medical tourism. It quotes numbers from Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Tourism, showing arrivals from overseas for the purpose of medical tourism have been on the increase since 2017 and that during 2019, over 357,000 foreign patients arrived for checkups and treatment, with some 57,000 requiring in-patient care. Total revenue generated is claimed to be around US$2 billion

The article does not say whether the number of foreign patients included expats or temporary workers from overseas living in Vietnam, or tourists needing emergency medical treatment while on holiday there.

It states that treatments the inbound medical travellers to Vietnam looked for ranged across all medical and surgical specialities and include cardiology intervention, fertility treatments, cosmetic surgery and dental care.

The article says that Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City accounted for 40% of the number of foreign patients. The HCM City University Medical Centre, a popular destination for foreign tourists, receives an average of 40-50 foreign patients a day, with 80% of these coming from Laos and Cambodia

It also says that on average, 100,000 visitors arrive annually for dental care, and an increasing number of expatriates from neighbouring states including Thailand are also taking advantage of the sector’s high quality and low prices. No source of this data was given.

HCM city’s People’s Committee’s plan on medical tourism development for the 2019-25 period calls for expanded emergency medical services for tourists. The committee also ordered the health sector to focus on developing a medical tourism network that meets international standards.

In 2018, the city’s Department of Health in coordination with the Department of Tourism released the first guidebook on medical tourism in the city. A total of 10,000 books were delivered to hospitals, hotels and travel agents.

As part of the coordinated efforts, a new website to introduce the city’s medical tourism network to foreign tourists is scheduled to be launched in the first quarter of this year.