There is great demand for healthcare services in Vietnam. The haggard government public resources gives chance of investment in the country.
The EVFTA ( EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement) and the amended Law on Investment will interest the foreign producers and suppliers who want to enter the Vietnamese market, which still mainly depends on imported medical equipment and medicines.
The novel coronavirus has increased the demand for technology based services as well.
Presently Vietnam is going through economic and demographic changes that gives great prospective for its healthcare industry.
Reformation in society generates opportunities in healthcare system
1. Swiftly Increasing Middle Class and Aging Population
The healthcare area in Vietnam has great possibility because of the demographic and socioeconomic changes in the country. Vietnam’s fast economic development has pumped need for excellent quality and specialised healthcare services, especially among the increasing middle-class society.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has proved that health is and will definitely continue to be important for most Vietnamese. Increasing distress over food safety, pollution and insecure living and working surroundings have also encouraged individuals to spend on medicines.
2. Enlargement of health insurance and hospital system
Social health insurance is the major public financing system for healthcare in Vietnam. Around 87 percent of the population is presently covered under this scheme according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the government continues get universal healthcare coverage.
To cover financial stress, the government is largely looking at investment from the private sector and international companies.
3. Medical equipment and devices
Around 90 percent of medical equipment is imported from countries such as Japan, Germany, the US, China, and Singapore, and domestic industry have only 10 percent of contribution.
Medical device manufacturers can look up to the opportunities generated by trade agreements such as the European Union Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
The government focus to grow the share of locally produced pharmaceuticals to 80 percent but around 55 percent of medicines in Vietnam are still imported every year. One of the reasons for Vietnam’s dependence on imports is that most domestic companies lack the research ability and do not match the European Union Good Manufacturing Practice (EU-GMP) or Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme Good Manufacturing Practice (PIC/S-GMP) standards required to produce good quality generic drugs.
Best part is implementation of the EVFTA will eliminate tariffs for pharmaceutical products from the EU, and permit the foreign companies to import and sell pharmaceuticals to local distributors and wholesalers.
5. Hospital system
The hospital network in Vietnam is extremely wide. There are around 1,531 hospitals, 86 percent of which are public and 14 percent are private which are mainly in major cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Da Nang.
Although the system is well settled but Vietnamese hospitals are facing many problems. Most public hospitals in the country were constructed more than two decades ago and need to be enhanced.
6. Digital healthcare
The health technology sector in Vietnam is still in its early days. The area also largely needs development of the Industry 4.0 technologies such as 5G networks, artificial intelligence (AI), and the internet of things (IoT).
Hence, all these factors confirm the Vietnamese government’s promise towards creating a business friendly environment, mainly to meet demands in the upcoming healthcare industry.