Vietnam’s health system is a mixed public-private system, in which the public system plays the key role, especially in policy, prevention, research and training. In 2015, Vietnam had approximately 1,316 hospitals with 2.89 beds per 1,000 populations. The private healthcare sector has grown steadily and the number of private hospitals has grown dramatically in recent years, representing 13.2% of hospitals and 4% beds nationwide. This number highlights opportunities for investors to enter the healthcare market.
Healthcare expenditure in Vietnam reached a value of USD13.9bn in 2015 and increased to USD14.9bn in 2016, marking a year-over-year growth of 9.6% in local currency terms. By 2025, healthcare expenditure is expected to reach USD33.7bn, more than doubling over the decade. A large and expanding population, rising incomes and improved access to healthcare services will act as key drivers of healthcare sector growth over the forecast period.
In addition to State funding, Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and private sector funding, PPP is increasingly seen as a potentially important mechanism for Vietnam to improve its growing healthcare system.
The medical device market in Vietnam is considered as one of the Asia’s fastest growing medical device markets, with a 2015-2020 CAGR of 9.0%. It ranked as the ninth largest market in the APAC region, valued at USD781.8mn in 2015. Most modern health equipment in hospitals is imported as the quality of domestic health equipment in Vietnam has yet to meet the national and international standards. Local production accounts for only 5% of the market. Domestic production is limited to basic items such as consumables. Some multinationals (B Braun, United Healthcare, Mediplast, etc…) have set up plants, attracted by low manufacturing and labour costs.
Only local companies can distribute medical devices in Vietnam, foreign companies must therefore sell their products through appointed local distributors and agents. VINAMED (Vietnam Medical Equipment Corporation) is one of the country’s leading distributors. Vietnamese buyers, especially in the public sector, generally expect to deal with a local distributor to handle all aspects of distribution, from delivery to after sales service and provision of spare parts.