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VietNamNews

New momentum for private investment in healthcare

Update: March, 03/2021 - 08:35

 

A surgery conducted at the Vinmec Times City General Hospital, a private hospital in Hà Nội. VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI —  Private investment is forecast to keep flowing into the healthcare sector, according to Đầu Tư (Vietnam Investment Review) newspaper.

Nipro Pharma Vietnam, invested in by the Nipro Pharma Corporation - one of Japan’s leading pharmaceutical companies - is completing necessary procedures to add US$270 million to its investment in a factory at the Saigon Hi-Tech Park in HCM City.

According to the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), a large number of Japanese businesses are seeking to tap into Vietnam’s healthcare market given its substantial potential.

The sector has attracted new investment inflows recently, especially last year, with several new projects from domestic and foreign companies.

In late 2020, a group of investors led by the Singaporean government’s GIC sovereign wealth fund poured more than $203 million into Vingroup’s VMC, which develops and operates the Vinmec hospital system.

VinaCapital’s Vietnam Opportunity Fund, meanwhile, invested $26.7 million in the Thu Cuc International General Hospital, while the UK’s Real Capital London debuted the Hong Anh (UK Vietnam) Medical Campus in HCM City, worth about $156 million.

Many projects funded by domestic investors were also licensed or became operational last year, such as the TV.Pharm Hi-tech Pharmaceutical Complex, Van Phuc - Sai Gon Hospital, and Hoan My Western Hospital.

Such moves show hospital investment is increasingly attractive due to growing middle-class demand for high-quality healthcare, the newspaper said.

Meanwhile, multinational pharmaceutical groups such as Novartis, Roche, Sanofi, GSK, and AstraZeneca are promoting “social business” via new programmes.

In late January, AstraZeneca worked with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and three specialised associations to launch a communications campaign to help raise awareness in Viet Nam about asthma.

The MoH’s Department of Medical Examination and Treatment, the UK Embassy in Viet Nam, and GSK recently signed a memorandum of understanding on co-operation in antimicrobial resistance prevention and control for 2021-2023, the paper reported.

The healthcare sector estimated that it needed about VNĐ176 trillion ($7.6 billion) for infrastructure development between 2010 and 2015. Since 2010, however, the Government has met only two-thirds of this capital demand.

The sector therefore views private investment as an important source of funding.

Despite this, private investment in healthcare still falls short of expectations, Dau tu noted, adding that the use of public-private partnerships (PPPs) remains modest due to the absence of a legal framework for such investment.

The Law on PPP Investment, which took effect on January 1, is expected to address obstacles relating to the legal framework and facilitate private investment in healthcare. The 2020 Law on Investment and Law on Enterprises may also create momentum for capital flows.

In the face of barriers, World Bank analysts have recommended prudence in the selection of PPP models and contracts in healthcare, suggesting that the MoH build a circular guiding selection, preparation, implementation, monitoring, and assessment of healthcare PPP projects in a fair and effective manner. — VNS

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