Vietnamese healthcare facilities attract foreign patients

May 27, 2024 - 08:10
Seeing a dermatologist abroad can take a long time — so some foreign patients are choosing Việt Nam.


A foreign patient treated at Việt Nam-Germany Hospital in Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of the hospital

HÀ NỘI — More and more foreign patients are choosing Việt Nam for healthcare, as the country is considered a bright spot in specialised medical examination and treatment.

The top dermatological examination facility in the nation, the National Hospital of Dermatology and Venereology, has seen an increase in foreign patients in recent years, as well as in Vietnamese nationals who have lived and worked overseas but are seeking dermatological examination and treatment in Việt Nam.

Foreign patients are choosing Việt Nam in part because it can take a long time to see a dermatologist abroad. Some patients had already seen their family physicians, but experienced unsatisfactory outcomes from their medical treatment abroad.

In one particular case, a five-year-old boy who had grown up in Japan was identified at four months old as having atopic dermatitis. In a year, the illness returned numerous times. In a Japanese hospital, the patient received care and examination.

But lately, he has experienced an increase in severity of his symptoms, with several severe eczema lesions and dry skin all over the body. The patient was admitted to the National Hospital of Dermatology and Venereology's Department of Skin Disease Treatment for Women and Children.

Following seven days of therapy, the patient's skin was less dry, he had no eczema lesions, and he was allowed to leave the hospital.

Doctor Nguyễn Doãn Tuấn, Department of Skin Disease Treatment for Women and Children, said the growing number of foreign patients seeking medical care in Việt Nam indicates that the nation's healthcare system is on par with that of developed nations worldwide.

“At the National Hospital of Dermatology and Venereology, we regularly update new medical knowledge and modern treatment techniques, as well as upgrade facilities to serve medical examination and treatment for people," he said.

Numerous other healthcare establishments, like Central Military Hospital 108 and Bạch Mai Hospital, have also drawn international patients for diagnosis and care.

After ingesting chemicals used to clean toilets resulting in burns to her upper digestive tract, 23-year-old female patient K.V.S. from Laos has had difficulty eating or drinking for a year. By the time she was admitted to the hospital, the patient had dropped from a healthy 74 kg to just 34 kg.

She had lost the ability to swallow solid food and was unable to even drink water. The patient underwent numerous therapies, including stent implantation and esophageal dilatation, at numerous medical facilities in Vientiane, Laos, but none of them were successful.

Associate Professor Trần Mạnh Hùng, head of the General Surgery Department at Bạch Mai Hospital, said the patient was hospitalised in a state of severe malnutrition and suffered burns to the entire upper digestive tract as a result of a corrosive substance that caused the entire esophagus to contract, narrow, and tighten.

The patient underwent a major eight-hour operation, recovered well, and was able to eat porridge on her own eight days later.

Improved service quality

The Central Military Hospital 108 recently successfully treated a 42-year-old foreign man who suffered from urethral damage due to a traffic accident.

After undergoing laparoscopic surgery to implant a self-expanding urethral stent, as recommended by physicians, he was able to recuperate quickly.

He said “I sincerely appreciate the physicians at Central Military Hospital 108. I was given committed care as soon as I arrived at the hospital. I think the facility offers excellent medical care.”

The Ministry of Health estimates that each year about 300,000 people from abroad come to Việt Nam for medical examination and treatment. This is one of the goals stated in the ministry's Project to attract foreigners, Vietnamese living abroad and high-income Vietnamese to receive high-quality medical examination and treatment in Việt Nam during the 2020-2030 period.

The enhanced quality of healthcare services in Việt Nam, along with much lower expenses compared to overseas treatment, are two factors drawing a large number of patients. Vietnamese physicians possess skills comparable to those of physicians in affluent nations. —VNS