Hanoi - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

People with health concerns should probably not come here. Air quality is not good during parts of the year, medical facilities are adequate, but anything requiring specialty would probably be best to have procedures done in Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul or back to the USA, if possible. Anecdotally, I know of one expat who had a bad traffic accident in the countryside, and did not receive adequate care in time. That person now has permanent damage and partial use of one leg. - Aug 2021

Yes. Outside of the Indian subcontinent and Mongolia in the wintertime, Hanoi has among the world's worst air pollution. In a week-long stretch during early December 2019, we had AQI readings regularly exceeding 400. The quality of air has rapidly deteriorated over the 2+ years we've been in Hanoi, to the point where I would not recommend anyone with young children to come here under any circumstance. Our young daughter has already developed asthma since arriving here and has a terrible cough that we hope goes away when we move shortly. Aside from the air quality, Hanoi is reasonably OK health-wise. It is leaps and bounds cleaner than it was than when I started traveling here in the late 1990s and tummy bugs are now fairly uncommon. Dengue was an issue when we arrived in 2017, but has been fairly quiet (knock on wood) since. There is no malaria to worry about. Medical care is OK for basic/GP type stuff and simple ER issues (nebulizers for one's kid, tummy bugs, colds/flu), but if one had anything halfway serious, I'd get on the first plane to Bangkok or Singapore. That includes giving birth - Hanoi would probably be OK for a routine delivery, but I wouldn't want to chance anything complicated. - Dec 2019

Medical care is adequate. For more serious injuries (broken bones) or illnesses (cancer), you will need to seek treatment elsewhere like Bangkok or Singapore. There are a few western-trained doctors working in clinics in expat communities. Issues related to poor air quality will be a problem, e.g., a persistent cough (Hanoi hack) or asthma. - Jul 2019

The air quality is tough for those susceptible to it, e.g., those who have breathing problems, allergies, sinus issues, etc. There are good international clinics for the basics. Any complex or “life threatening” issues should be addressed in Bangkok or Singapore. - Apr 2018

Health care quality is growing but still subpar compared to the United States, so you will be medically evacuated to Singapore or Bangkok for any surgeries or major diagnostic tests. Avoid the public hospitals if you can - they are overcrowded and appear to have poor hygiene, even if they are conveniently located. That said, there are some new private hospitals cropping up that are of better quality for routine matters (i.e. Vinmec) and several small clinics with foreign doctors that cater specifically to the expat community that provide decent non-emergency/critical care. Routine dental care at one of the expat-oriented practices is adequate and inexpensive. - Dec 2017

Yes. The air quality and motorbike accidents eventually take everyone down. Very minimal hospital care in Hanoi. Med medevacs almost all cases to Singapore or Bangkok. - May 2016

There are international clinics, but I have not been super impressed with them. Anything serious is medevaced to Singapore or Bangkok - Aug 2015

Air isn't great, need to wash vegetables well. Clinics, French Hospital, and Vinmec hospital can deal with the minor stuff (a colleague nearly lost a finger in a motorcycle accident), but the Embassy people will medevac to Singapore or Hong Kong for anything more serious. - Mar 2015

Moderate level health care. Serious issues are medevaced to Bangkok or Singapore. - Aug 2014

Basic health care is OK locally and you can have braces put on for cheaper than in the US. For anything serious you’ll get Medevaced to Bangkok. - Dec 2011

Hanoi has SOS, Family Medical Clinic and the French Hospital but care is very spotty. No major issues can be addressed here - you need to go to Bangkok or Singapore. For example, you can't even get a mammogram in Hanoi. - Aug 2011

Medical care is below par. For any serious medical issues you will have to be sent to Singapore or Hong Kong. - May 2010

Medical care is good and often cheap. Great place to put the kid in braces. - Dec 2009

A lot of dust from construction and traffic fumes. Otherwise, the air is not foul. - Feb 2009

Health care in Hanoi is generally considered poor. Chlorea and H5N1 bird flu is endemic to Hanoi. Dengue is a problem during the summer months. Tap water is not potable. There are problems with fake drugs in the local pharmacies. There are two clinics in Hanoi with staffs of expat doctors; Hanoi Family Medical Practice and SOS.These clinics are quite good for average medical issues however they are reluctant to address chronic medical problems or serious emergenies. The U.S. Embassy prefers to medivac individuals to Bangkok or elsewhere in case of serious emergency in which travel is still possible. The French hospital is also considered not bad and has acceptable levels of care. However one Embassy officer was forced to negotiate the price for his treatment with his doctor while the doctor was stitching up his forehead. - Sep 2008

Dengue in the country side, an outbreak of cholera this year, sporadic outbreaks of bird flu, various intestinal bugs if you decide to eat on the street, respiratory problems due to the air pollution. There is SOS, the French Hospital and Hanoi Family Practice. All offer a mixture of Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese doctors. All offer acceptable care for non-emergency health care. All imaging techniques are available, MRI, CAT Scan, X-Ray, etc., Regional med evac point is Singapore. - May 2008

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