(PLO)- The hospitals have a medical examination and treatment process and service packages for both foreign guests.
In recent years, Ho Chi Minh City is considered very advantageous to develop medical tourism products. In particular, healthcare tourism, which has been deployed since before the COVID-19 outbreak, has attracted millions of visitors and generated billions of dollars in revenue. However, to continue to make this product more attractive requires close coordination between the two key sectors of health and tourism.
Newspaper Ho Chi Minh City Law had a discussion with industry experts to jointly suggest solutions to promote the development of this fertile land.
Visitors experience health care activities in the tour Binh Chanh – Untold things. Photo: TU UYEN
BSc CKII LAU QUOC HAI, DRepresentative of Hospital of Traditional Medicine in Ho Chi Minh City:
The product is available but the hospital has not welcomed tourists yet
The Hospital (BV) of Traditional Medicine of Ho Chi Minh City has participated in the medical tourism fair for three years and received the attention of a large number of domestic and foreign tourists.
After the COVID-19 epidemic, during the 2022 Tourism Festival, when BV launched a product package, travel companies responded and appreciated it very much. However, due to a number of difficulties in terms of mechanisms and policies, it has not been implemented yet.
A travel company has ordered a “filial piety” product package to bring elderly people from Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City to travel in combination with medical examination and treatment at the Hospital of Traditional Medicine, but because there are no specific instructions when the BV combines with a travel agency, it is still just a plan.
The hospital has trained personnel, organized product packages such as implantation of beauty threads, implants for treatment of diseases, massage and acupressure… Even the medicine has been improved, introduced many new drugs, new designs such as medicines that are ready-made for tourists to use, many products as gifts for tourism… However, in order to receive visitors for treatment, the tourism industry and the medical profession need to work together to make regulations.
In the development strategy of the hospital, the committee – the board of directors has given many orientations, prepared facilities and invested in equipment to welcome visitors.
The current difficulty is that the hospital area is quite narrow to welcome large groups of guests. Each time the travel company can bring about 40-50 guests to health care, but the hospital can only serve 20-30 guests.
Besides, travel companies still do not have regular visitors, we are very hesitant about expanding facilities, creating a separate area to welcome tourists.
Although it does not have an area as large as the healthcare tourism model of some countries, the Traditional Medicine Hospital has a space designed in the traditional style of Eastern medicine, has a tea room, a private clinic … so it is extremely trusted by the people. Although not serving tourists, the hospital has welcomed a large number of city people to use its services and the quality of treatment has been increasingly improved.
Grandma HUNG PHUONG HOANG, Deputy General Manager Vietravel Travel Company:
Vietnam makes medical tourism a priority for development
Ho Chi Minh City holds the largest market share of medical tourism in Vietnam with the main products chosen by tourists are traditional medicine, dentistry and cosmetology. According to statistics of the tourism industry, every year the number of foreign tourists coming to Vietnam for medical treatment and tourism is increasing gradually, with a turnover of about 2 billion USD/year.
In Ho Chi Minh City, this type of tourism, although it has been implemented for a long time, has not developed properly.
In general, medical facilities are capable of serving the medical examination and treatment needs of tourists, but Ho Chi Minh City does not have any medical facilities that can simultaneously serve a group of several hundred people.
To fully exploit the strengths of this type of tourism, we need to promote communication. Medical tourism is a priority target for development like some countries in Southeast Asia and Asia. For example, Korea develops beauty care and aesthetics; Singapore is the examination and treatment of diseases…
At the same time, to make medical tourism more accessible to tourists, in addition to the Department of Health and Department of Tourism as a bridge to hospitals, health and beauty care centers, tourism businesses should coordinate with eco-tourism areas to build herbal spa experience points.
Grandfather PHAN DINH HUE, Travel consultant:
Dental services in Vietnam have the advantage of cheap price and good quality
With intensive therapeutic medical tourism products, each market has different needs. For example, in some European and American markets, the cost of treating common diseases is too expensive, such as dental care or some common diseases, 3-4 times higher than in Vietnam. Therefore, foreign tourists traveling to Vietnam or overseas Vietnamese to visit relatives are very keen to buy this package because of its low price and good quality advantage.
Besides, with the relatively famous traditional medicine, some Western guests, especially the elderly, in Vietnam can combine treatment with traditional methods. However, this number of visitors did not book through travel agencies, but often contacted the BV directly. Therefore, travel companies rarely organize package tours like other products because there are no regular guests.
Grandma PHAN YEN LY, travel industry expert:
Medical tourism in Vietnam is a niche market
To be able to build a medical tourism product, we need to understand and distinguish what is medical tourism such as dentistry, plastic surgery, IVF… and health care tourism with non-invasive therapies and body care services such as beauty, spa, nutrition, macrobiotics.
Currently, Vietnam’s medical tourism is only seen as a niche product. For healthcare tourism, Vietnam has a lot of potential. Moreover, Vietnam has many destinations as health tourism models such as hot mineral baths, resorts with spa services, overnight cruises with guided yoga, taichi…
For travel, in Ho Chi Minh City, the Penguin Travel Company has many health care tour programs, such as tours. Binh Chanh – Untold things for visitors to experience cycling, health advice, massage, reflexology, herbal foot bath, etc. The tour guide is also trained in traditional medicine knowledge to share with visitors.
Global Wellness Institute (GWI) estimates that the global healthcare tourism industry will reach $919 billion by 2022.
Healthcare tourism revenue is growing strongly in Southeast Asian countries. Annually, this service grows 23%. Therefore, we need to take specific and quick actions to seize the opportunity and find a foothold in this trend.
Grandma BUI THI NGOC Hieu, Deputy Director of Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism:
Connect to create high-quality medical tourism product packages
Currently, a number of medical tourism programs are being implemented in Ho Chi Minh City, which are highly appreciated by tourists.
In the coming time, in order to diversify product packages, the Department of Tourism and the Department of Health will continue to connect travel businesses, medical facilities and accommodation facilities to create high-quality medical tourism product packages to meet the needs of domestic and foreign tourists.
In order to increase the choice for tourists and retain customers longer in Ho Chi Minh City, the Department of Tourism, in collaboration with the Department of Health, will announce a new medical tourism product, continue to promote it with specific and vivid travel programs, etc. to facilitate visitors to have time to participate in the tour as well as to experience real life in Ho Chi Minh City.
Many featured programs
Some medical tourism programs are being implemented and are very popular in Ho Chi Minh City, such as tour Travel in peace held at Tao Dan Garden. Guests will be able to practice yoga, drink detox drinks, take an inner city cruise to visit museums, temples… Dental tour with a combo to visit Landmark and experience dental care, explore Ho Chi Minh City, give a health care package…
Traditional Medicine Hospital of Ho Chi Minh City offers visitors acupressure massage service including a series of beauty services, restore health, improve health, reduce fatigue, stress due to traveling a lot, time zone changes, weather changes due to different geographical areas, bringing new experiences, making the trip more enjoyable.