Vietnam is one of the safest countries in Southeast Asia. Its population is friendly, especially in large resorts and cities. Several foreigners visit Vietnam for the purpose of tourism annually. In fact, statistics revealed that Vietnam hosted approximately 1,024,899 foreigners in October, 2017 with an increase of about 5% and 24.7% over the last month and the same period of the previous year respectively. Over ten months, total international arrivals were estimated at 10,473,230 arrivals with 28.1% increase over the same period of last year.
Vietnam has a significant tourist reviews in both service and natural aesthetics. This is evident in places like Hanoi, Ninh Binh, Sapa hills and Halong Bay. Foreigners who intend to tour around these extraordinary places or visit for other purposes are required to acquire a valid travel insurance policy in order to cover the cost of sudden medical expenses that could exceed their itinerary budgets. More so, it is better to extend the coverage of travel insurance with other additional options, especially for vacations or visits of long duration.
General Information about insurance to Vietnam
The Vietnam migration rules stipulates that foreigners are mandated to enter the Vietnamese territory with a valid insurance policy. It is recommended to obtain travel insurance policy with a minimum coverage of $30,000.
The travel insurance policy is meant to provide the tourist or foreigner with coverage for medical expenses like inpatient and outpatient treatments, doctor’s consultation and other risks that may result in repatriation and emergency evacuation. In addition, it is recommended to obtain a travel insurance two weeks before departure.
Types of Travel insurance
The two major types of travel insurance policies are:
- Single Trip insurance
- Multi-trip insurance
Cost of travel insurance policies
The cost of obtaining a valid insurance policy varies from one insurer to the other, and depends on several driving factors. These factors are highlighted below:
Trip Cancellation Insurance
The risk of forfeiting a fare may be associated with purchasing a ticket for a scheduled trip. After paying for a fare, the insured tourist may forcefully abandon his/her itinerary due to occurrence of circumstantial events beyond his/her control. The following reasons may cause the forceful cancellation of a scheduled trip:
- The insured may be declared unfit for the trip by a doctor.
- The death of either the insured or his/her or family member or close relative.
- Sudden sickness of the insured’s child.
- The insured may be summoned as a witness to testify in the court of law.
- The insured may be ordered to undertake a critical military assignment on behalf of his/her nation.
- The insured must inform the carrier, and cancel the trip in actual sense.
- The insured must provide adequate documentation and necessary reasons for cancelling the trip.
- The insured must not be seriously ill while purchasing the fare.
Additional Options for extending the travel insurance coverage
Other options can be included by the insured to enhance the coverage capacity of the travel insurance policy.
These Additional options include:
- Trip cancellation
- Dental Insurance
- Sport Insurance
- Personal liability insurance
- Luggage insurance
- Accident insurance
Will the medical insurance cover treatment for accidents, and why is accident insurance necessary?
Yes it will, but subsequent compensations for resulting disabilities, dismemberment, loss of limbs, sight and extremities will not be provided by the travel insurance alone. Rather, if the accident insurance is included in advance, it will provide such compensations. For instance, if a tourist losses his sight and sustains multiple fractures during a car crash along the Ma Pi Leng Pass. After covering the expense on necessary treatment for trauma and injuries, the accident insurance will go a long way to provide compensation for the loss of his/her sight, due to inability to return back to previous occupation.
Personal liability Insurance
An insured tourist may inadvertently destroy or inflict injuries on a third party, and get sued. And he/she may incur the cost of treating the third party or replacing the victims damaged property. Similarly, the insured may commit an offense in VIETNAM out of ignorance, but we know that ignorance is not an excuse for breaking the law. In such an unfortunate situation the personal liability will cover the cost of settling any arising court case or punishment by the law. If necessary, the personal liability insurance will provide a competent lawyer to negotiate on the insured‘s behalf in such an unfortunate situation, provided this option is included by the insured prior to the insured event.
The option may not provide coverage in the following cases:
- Cases of immoral misconduct.
- Involvement in criminal offences, especially in connection with any form of syndicate or drug cartel.
- Involvement in a terror plot.
- And other cases.
Try and read the terms and conditions of the policy to gain more insight on these section.
Actions performed in the case of an insured event
First of all, contact the representative of the insurance company and provide detailed information regarding the insured event. Also, be sure to report any contraindications or allergies to certain kinds of medications. Duplicate (if possible) your appeal by sending an e-mail format of the complaint in addition.
At the time of the appeal, be ready to provide the costumer care with the following details:
- Name of insured person.
- Number of the insurance policy and the name of the insurance company.
- Current location.
- Phone number that will be used in following up details about the insured’s situation.
After this procedure the insured will receive instructions from the representative of the insurance company concerning the medical institution to visit. If the medical institution is far from the insured’s location. The insured must specify the mode of transportation required to deliver him/ her to the proposed medical institution. The insured must also make inquiries concerning who will incur the cost of such a fare.
Keep all documents and evidence concerning the payment of transport to the medical institution.
If the Insured is directed by the customer care to a medical institution in which it is necessary to make cash payment, for subsequent compensation of expenses; the Insured must obtain the following documents:
- An invoice for payment confirmation.
- Doctor’s statement indicating the diagnosis in English.
Do not go to any medical institution, except the institutions recommended by the insurer’s customer care. Such actions may require the insured to bear the cost of the medical services without receiving subsequent compensation from insurance company.
Cost of Medical Services in Vietnam
Treatments in state hospitals are inexpensive when compared to other countries. For instance, a comprehensive medical examination involving the use of ultrasound and fluorography; and doctor’s appointment will cost about 8 dollars for the first time. Then subsequent examination will cost about 20 dollars with more sophisticated devices. In cities like Dalat, doctors consultation, medications and cardiogram may require approximately 15 dollars, but at a lower quality of service. In Hanoi, blood test and ultrasound may cost about 30 to 40 dollars, and injections against allergic reactions may incur a cost of 22 to 32 dollars. In cases of injuries bandage application will cost 9 to 16 dollars. All these services will be several times expensive in international and private hospitals.
The following telephone numbers listed below, may be very useful during emergencies in Vietnam:
Travelers are advised to obtain contact information from their home embassies or consulates at Vietnam.
Medicine in Vietnam
Pharmaceutical enterprises produce both natural and chemical medications in Vietnam, and as such; eastern and western medicines are quite advanced in the region.
Recently Vietnam has developed an advanced level of medicine, especially in cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. According to the world health organization, 85% of medical personnel are highly qualified doctors compared to 14% in Bangladesh. They are also fluent in English and some other languages like Russian.
The public hospitals are inexpensive than the private hospitals, and these public hospitals are located in the cities. Hence, if the tourist is in the country side, a quite expensive fare will be required to reach these hospitals.
There has been excellent reviews concerning the level of health care services rendered in the Franco-Vietnamese and Cho Ray hospital in Ho Chi Minh. Their medical services are two times cheaper than the services rendered in Thailand.
The Vietnam-German Friendship hospital offer complex services like surgery and organ transplants with high probability of success.
In state hospitals, results of medical tests and other kinds of analysis are quickly prepared. And as such, the patients can wait for their results after performing certain tests. Vietnamese medicines are occasionally better than medicines offered in some other parts of Asia. Contact either the hotel reception or insurance provider to determine the location of a hospital. Hospitals can also be located on the map. Their locations are indicated with Red Cross symbols on the map.
There are so many medical products in the Vietnamese pharmacies. It is better to take a sample of the desired medicine along, while going to the pharmacy to purchase medicines, in order to avoid misunderstanding and errors as a result of language barriers. Medications are inexpensive and it is better to purchase imported medicines. For instance, a sachet of French Smecta and Imodium cost $0.5. If the desired medical product is unavailable, knowledge of the medicine’s chemical composition will be required to purchase the right medicine.
Pharmacies are usually opened for over 18 hours, but a few pharmacies operate throughout 24 hours.