Healthcare and medical care
In case of accident, you can contact the Finnish Embassy in Hanoi by calling +84 (0) 4 3826 6788.
Vietnamese hospitals are not up to Western standards and they should only be contacted in case of emergency. The hospitals commonly have shortages of medicines and other supplies. Only a few doctors speak English outside Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The international clinics operating in Vietnam are the recommended primary places of treatment. These clinics have both Vietnamese and international doctors. In serious cases, a patient can be flown to Singapore or Thailand for treatment. Travellers to Vietnam should purchase comprehensive travel insurance.
At the tourist resorts, you can contact the hotel receptions and travel operators to inquire about doctor services. The doctor visit must be paid in cash and in advance. Save your receipts for the insurance.
The emergency number for calling an ambulance in Vietnam 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. Hospitals in larger cities also have private ambulances.
In larger cities, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, good-quality pharmacies can be found in most shopping centres. 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.
Sources: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, U.S. Department of State: A service of the Bureau of Consular Affairs