Vietnam has been attracting more tourists and that includes more health and medical travellers. Ho Chi Minh City (HCM) has the highest potential for medical tourism thanks to the concentration there of many leading hospitals of Vietnam.
HCM’s tourism department claims that 300,000 foreigners had a medical examination or treatment in the country in 2018, including 57,000 inpatients, and 40% of them chose HCM City as their destination.
These numbers for HCM City are only a guess however, and it is contradicted by the country’s Ministry of Tourism. They guess that Vietnam had 70,000 medical tourists in 2017 and 50% went to HCM City, and their projection for 2018 is 80,000, with most being dental tourists.
The problem with these published numbers is that they are both unsubstantiated estimates. If 50% or 60% of the inbound medical tourists go to other parts of the country, where do they go? There are few hospitals and clinics catering for international patients outside of HCM City. Then there is the perennial problem: do you count a traveller visit for a health check as a medical tourist visit?
The Department of Health of HCM City has introduced a mobile app for people searching for local healthcare examination and treatment facilities. The English version of this app is expected to debut in early 2020.
For an independent assessment of the inbound and outbound medical travel sector in Vietnam, subscribe to the IMTJ Country Profiles.