|Southern city focuses on improving quality of medical tourism services. (Photo: sggp.org.vn)
With the advantage of a rich and diverse system of medical facilities, high quality services, reasonable costs, and a team of highly skilled doctors and nurses, medical tourism is a product with great potential and competitive advantage compared to other provinces, cities and countries in the region. In addition, through research and surveys after the COVID-19 epidemic, tourists are more interested in resort products and health care treatments. This is a good opportunity for the southern hub to promote the development of medical tourism products that are attractive to tourists.
2023 is considered a milestone to record the prosperity of medical tourism products with many specific and effective activities. The city has announced 30 package tour programs combining medical tourism and health care suitable for domestic and international tourist markets; launched video clips to introduce and promote products; updated, supplemented and adjusted the Medical Tourism Handbook in six languages, with concise, clear and effective content; and surveyed and learned from Thailand’s experience in developing medical tourism models.
However, the city’s medical tourism product still has many shortcomings that need to be improved, such as: lack of human resources fluent in medical specialized vocabulary; non-professional and non-regular product promotion work. Most hospitals in the city do not have international certificates for foreign patients to use global insurance and there is no close connection between medical facilities, travel businesses, and hotels to form a complete product chain.
Aiming to gradually promote the advantages of medical tourism, the city needs to build applied medical strengths such as dentistry, infertility treatment, and disease screening using hi-technology, general examination, traditional medicine, rehabilitation, aesthetics, health resort, and specialized medical.
|Health screening using modern technology at Cho Ray Hospital.
Although cosmetic and skin care activities in Ho Chi Minh City have achieved results for many years, the city has not taken advantage of this strength to widely promote and popularize it. The city’s health sector is promoting the formation of a health care center combined with traditional medicine and resorts in Can Gio district. This is one of the medical tourism products that promises to attract many tourists in the near future.
The southern hub is currently well applying specialized technology in disease examination and treatment, as well as the qualifications and skills of the medical team and doctors being increasingly improved.
The city also needs to build a professional medical tourism support system; with the focus on building a professionalized information technology system, building a team of staff for medical tourism assistance, combined with promoting medical tourism in a methodical and effective way.
At the same time, the locality should consider standardizing facilities to meet medical tourism requirements such as regulations on medical examination and treatment for foreigners, international payments, international health insurance, and raising standards of personnel involved to avoid mistakes and discredit the city’s medical tourism products.
Building tour programs in combination with health examination and treatment with neighboring provinces and cities are important ingredients for medical tourism to truly become a potential product, towards the goal of bringing Ho Chi Minh City’s medical tourism brand to a regional level by 2030./.