Healthcare and medical care
In case of accident, you can contact the Finnish Embassy in Hanoi by calling +84 (0) 24 3826 6788.
Vietnamese hospitals are usually not up to Western standards. Hospitals commonly have shortages of medicines and other supplies, and waiting times can be long, even in acute cases. Only a few doctors speak English outside Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. The international clinics operating in Vietnam are the recommended primary places of treatment. These clinics have both Vietnamese and international doctors. Private hospitals recommended for travellers in Hanoi include Franco-Vietnamese Hospital, Hanoi French Hospital, International SOS Clinic Central Building and Hanoi Family Medical Practice. Hospitals recommended for travellers in Ho Chi Minh City include Ho Chi Minh’s City International Hospital, Columbia Asia Gia Dinh International Clinic, Columbia Asia Saigon International Clinic, HCMC Family Medical Practice Diamond Plaza, International SOS Clinic Hannam Building and the Hoan My Medical Corporation chain.
In case of more demanding illness, travellers should seek treatment from the neighbouring countries of Vietnam if possible. In serious cases, doctors can order the patient to be transferred by plane for example to Singapore or Thailand to receive treatment. It is very important that travellers to Vietnam take out comprehensive travel insurance. You should familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions of the insurance.
At the tourist resorts, you can contact the hotel receptions and travel operators to inquire about doctor services. In many cases, you need to pay the doctor visit in advance with cash. In bigger cities you can usually pay with card. Save your receipts for the insurance company.
If you are health insured in Finland, and have received treatment in some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland on account of a sudden illness, worsening of a chronic condition, pregnancy or childbirth, you can apply for reimbursement from Kela retrospectively. You are entitled for the same reimbursement that you would have received if you had been treated in the private healthcare system in Finland. Please note that the reimbursement usually covers only a small part of the costs of the treatment. Thus, taking out a comprehensive travel insurance is recommended.
The emergency number for calling an ambulance in Vietnam is 115, but the emergency services do not commonly speak English. A public ambulance may be slow to arrive, so using a taxi, for example, is generally recommended. You should be prepared for a long waiting time for an ambulance. Paramedics do not usually speak English, and ambulances only have a modest level of equipment. Hospitals in larger cities also have private ambulances, which are usually more efficient than public ambulance services.
In larger cities, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, you can find many good-quality pharmacies. Most private hospitals and clinics also have pharmacies. Pharmacies are usually well-equipped and most medicines can be bought without a prescription.
Pharmacies are not closely regulated in Vietnam. When purchasing medicines from sources other than the hospital pharmacy, you should check the use by date on the packages. You should also carefully check the packaging and the instructions for use before using the products.