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September 26, 2021, 5:41 pm

Surprising fact: Foreigners visiting Vietnam for medical treatment

(09:15:37 AM 07/08/2014)
( - About 100,000 foreigners visit Vietnam every year for medical treatment, bringing more than $1 billion of revenue to local hospitals.

A large number of foreigners come to Vietnam for in-vitro fertilization services.

When he heard that Vietnam used the femtosecond laser technique in refractive surgery through a Vietnamese friend in HCM City, Mr. Carthay, an Austrian, travelled to Vietnam for eye surgery at the HCM City Eye Hospital.
"I was quite surprised because this was the first patient from Austria. Our foreign patients are mainly from Southeast Asia," said Dr. Tran Hai Yen, Deputy Director of the HCM City Eye Hospital.
Carthay, 41, had refraction problems for four years. He underwent two surgeries in a hospital in Vienna but they did not work. The operation using new technology at the Ho Chi Minh City Eye Hospital took place over two hours, at the cost of over $1,000, one-third compared to the fees that Carthay paid at the Austrian hospital. And the result was outstanding.
"I did not expect Vietnam's health care system had such great progress," the patient told his Vietnamese doctor after the operation. he said that he would recommend it to many people in Austria.
"My hospital has welcomed many foreigners," said Ms. Nguyen Thi Le Thu, external relations and marketing manager of the FV Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.
According to Thu, 10 years ago the hospital’s foreign patients were mainly citizens of Southeast Asian countries but now they come from Europe, the Americas and Africa. The hospital treats nearly 20,000 patients from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar each year.
Shumells, 51, from Frankfurt, Germany had a colorectal tumor. After reading an article on the endoscopic surgical techniques in Vietnam in a medical journal, Shumells decided to go to Vietnam.
"I read about many successful cases of operation in Vietnam so I hoped that Vietnamese doctors could help me," Shumells said.
The price of the surgery was also important to Shumells. "It's less than half in Germany and the postoperative services are also good here," this patient said.
There are 15-20 Cambodian and English interpreters at the HCM City Medical College Hospital to serve foreign patients. The hospital welcomes the highest number of Cambodian patients in Vietnam, with about 18,000 people each year. The hospital also treats about 1,000 patients from Europe, Australia, Asia and America.
The hospital’s deputy director, Dr. Nguyen Hoang Bac, said that since 2008 the hospital treated nearly 6,000 foreign patients, including those from Japan, England, South Korea, the United States, Australia, Switzerland, Turkey and Spain.
"Foreign patients come here for examination and treatment of hepatobiliary diseases, using endoscopic techniques and treatment of neurological diseases and osteoarthritis," Dr. Bac said.
At Cho Ray Hospital, one of the biggest state hospitals in HCM City, many foreign patients have been treated successfully. "Many patients from Europe or America come here for treatment of thoracic, vascular diseases or plastic surgery," Dr. Nguyen Van Khoi, Deputy Director of Cho Ray Hospital said.
The Central and HCM City Dental and Maxillofacial Hospitals annually treat more than 2,000 foreign patients and overseas Vietnamese. Foreign patients visit for good quality services and cheap hospital fees, said doctors at the two hospitals.
In Vitro fertilization
A large number of foreigners come to Vietnam for in-vitro fertilization services.
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, who laid the foundation for this technique in Vietnam and is now the chair of the HCM City Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Association said that in-vitro fertilization method has resulted in more than 10,000 births.
"Vietnam uses this technique the most in Southeast Asia, with a high success rate,” Dr. Phuong said proudly.
Four years ago, Dr. Phuong and her colleagues were very surprised when one of the renowned experts of in-vitro fertilization in the world and his wife came to HCM City to have in-vitro fertilization.
"He is the co-author of the world’s most famous textbook on reproductive assistance techniques," said Dr. Phuong.
"His son is now 4 years old," Dr. Phuong said, adding that this expert added the picture of his in-vitro son into the textbook of in-vitro fertilization.
According to Dr. Phuong, Vietnam began provided the in-vitro fertilization treatment for foreigners in 2000 at the three hospitals in HCM City, including An Sinh, Van Hanh and Tu Du. The Tu Du Obstetrics Hospital alone served more than 200 foreign patients a year.
Dr. Ho Manh Tuong, director of the infertility treatment faculty of the An Sinh Hospital said about 100 foreigners are treated with infertility at the hospital each year and some of them come from Europe.
Dr. Tuong said Vietnam can perform the most modern techniques for the treatment of infertility. He said foreigners come because of the high success rate, while the price is very cheap.
"In some cases foreign patients went to Vietnam after foreign hospitals failed to help them to have a child and their dreams became true in Vietnam," Dr. Tuong said.
The success rate of in-vitro fertilization at the Central Obstetrics Hospital in Hanoi is 50-60% and about 65% at Tu Du and An Sinh hospitals in HCM City, compared to only about 40-45% in Thailand or Singapore.
Dr. Ho Manh Tuong said the price for an in-vitro fertilization case in Vietnam is about $5,000 compared to $15.000-$30,000 in other countries.
Dr. Nguyen Dinh Phu, deputy director of the People's Hospital 115 in HCM City, said the hospital had successfully conducted 10 kidney transplants for foreign patients in the last 10 years.
"The price for a kidney transplant operation in Vietnam is VND50-VND100 million ($2,500-$5,000), while it is up to 30,000 euros in Europe," said Dr. Phu.
In Singapore, the cost of a bone marrow transplant surgery is up to VND2 billion (nearly $100,000) while it isVND500-VND700 million ($2,500-$3,500) in Vietnam.
Tien Phong

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