Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/08/2014 -- Public hospitals struggle to fund upgrades to facilities; a change of regulations in 2012 means that public hospitals can now access funding directly from credit institutions, including the Vietnam Development Bank. As of January 2013, 18 hospitals had applied for funding with six hospitals signing contracts for loans totalling VND900bn (US$43.2mn).
The private healthcare sector in Vietnam has expanded since the lifting of the ban on private practice in 1989. People often choose to use private facilities, if they can afford to do so, as the quality of state healthcare provision is very poor. According to latest data for 2012, an estimated 61.3% of healthcare expenditure was private. Approximately 40,000 Vietnamese people travel abroad for medical treatment per year because of poor quality domestic healthcare facilities.
In 2013, an estimated 92% of the medical device market was supplied by imports, and the sector is growing rapidly. Japan, USA, Singapore and China are the leading suppliers, accounting for 50% of imports in 2012. Local production is limited to basic items such as syringes and hospital beds. ? The value of exports reached US$536.4mn in 2012, with 32.5% of medical products exported to Japan. The value of exports has been growing fast, as overseas companies, mainly Japanese, use the country as a manufacturing base.
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Vietnam receives a large amount of international aid in the form of loans and donated medical equipment. A number of small projects are currently taking place in Vietnam, including those funded by the World Bank and the EU. The country became a WTO member in 2007.
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