Vietnam has a lot to offer the expatriate community. Since the relaxation of its visa approval policy, many expats have made Vietnam their home.
The technology in the country is advancing, healthcare is improving, and it is safe to say that the level of Vietnamese healthcare is decent. However, it is also true that the Vietnamese healthcare system has yet to reach Western standards. For this reason, purchasing Vietnamese private health insurance is a must to ensure ultimate peace of mind. Why? And how do you pick the best policy? Before we answer that, let us understand the healthcare system in Vietnam.
This will help you understand why exactly it is beneficial to have such a policy, as well as what kind of coverage is important in your Vietnam expat health insurance.
Vietnamese Healthcare System
The healthcare system in Vietnam is not as robust as that of its neighbors. Bangkok or Singapore can offer much better specialized and intensive care. The picture isn’t all black, though. The healthcare system and associated insurance coverage in Vietnam are improving.
In 2015, 77% of the Vietnamese population had insurance coverage. The government is also trying to reduce the rural-urban divide in healthcare. But there is still a long way to go before it can match the Western standards that most expats are used to.
So, what’s the right healthcare strategy for expats? Is Vietnam public health insurance enough? Or do expats need Vietnam private health insurance?
Let us find answers to these questions by comparing the public and private healthcare system of the country.
Public vs. Private Healthcare in Vietnam
The public healthcare system includes generous concessions. The level of subsidies varies based on level of income. The defining characteristics of the public healthcare system in Vietnam include:
- Four-level facility (Central, Provincial, District, Commune).
- Underfunded and poorly equipped facilities in rural areas. Bigger cities like Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi have better facilities, though.
- Vietnamese is the common language of communication. Finding healthcare providers who speak fluent English is next to impossible in smaller locations.
- Public healthcare facilities, even in bigger cities like the capital, are often overcrowded. The facilities see a large volume of patients from the city as well as nearby locations.
- Rural locations lack even basic diagnostic equipment and training regarding healthcare. The government is making several efforts to improve the situation. Major efforts include Project 1816 or the satellite hospital program. Under this project, professionals from central-level facilities are rotated into the rural areas to offer training and guidance to their rural counterparts. It is mostly in reference to the equipment and healthcare advancements.
For expats, it is wise to stay away from the public healthcare system. The improvements are being carried out, but at this moment, it is still not your best option due to lack of efficiency and communication gaps that may arise.
The private sector, however, has made more enhancements. Expats can visit private healthcare facilities for non-emergency and basic health needs. Most private hospitals will have excellent medical staff who often trained overseas and can speak fluent English and/or French. This ensures that there is no miscommunication regarding your healthcare, thus improving the reliability of the medical attention you receive.
Regarding the cost of private healthcare in Vietnam, it is lower than that of Western nations. Bills can still pile up fast, though. You should have proper Vietnam expatriate health insurance to cover the costs.
Is Insurance Mandatory for Expats in Vietnam?
It is mandatory for expats in Vietnam to have a social insurance policy. You should contact your employer in Vietnam for complete details. Be sure to inquire about the premiums, their deductions, and the coverage.
No matter what kind of Vietnamese public health insurance policy you are required to buy, we highly recommend purchasing expat health insurance on top of it to fill the gaps.
Reasons Why Expat Health Insurance is a Must in Vietnam
First, you get timely medical attention. Public facilities in Vietnam suffer from overcrowding. If you want to get attention right away, private hospitals and clinics would be better suited to this need. And if you don’t have Vietnam expat health insurance, then you would have to pay the hefty bills of private healthcare out of your own pocket. To avoid that hit on your bank balance, take out a suitable policy before you land in Vietnam.
Second, you don’t face a language barrier. When you are sick, injured, or in pain, the last thing that you want is to have to deal with language issues. Most public facilities have professionals who speak only Vietnamese. If you don’t know the local language well, this could be a big issue. To avoid any kind of language barrier in your medical care, head straight to private facilities. Keep your Vietnam expat health insurance with you, so that money doesn’t become a hindering factor in healthcare.
Finally, extreme requirements like repatriation and medical evacuation are covered. The private healthcare facilities are good for non-emergency care. If you need specialized or intensive care, repatriation or medical evacuation is best. To cover this cost, you would need Vietnam expatriate health insurance.
Buy Expatriate Health Insurance in Vietnam
You can easily find policy providers offering expat health insurance in Vietnam. The only thing that you need to keep in mind is to find comprehensive coverage. Make sure your policy includes benefits like medical evacuation, repatriation, specialized care, and alternative therapies.
Contact your general insurance provider, or look for international insurance providers. No matter which policy provider you select, be sure to first compare and analyze, and then purchase your plan. If you need any assistance, our licensed, experienced representatives are happy to help you select the policy that best fits your needs.
Healthcare is a basic need. Money should never force you into having to compromise with your healthcare. Stay protected with Vietnamese expat health insurance.