VietNam: Prescription drugs and doctors
VietNam: Prescription drugs and doctors Reviews
Avoid those high priced ex-pat doctors Dec 11, 2008
Visitors to VietNam are often faced with the need to obtain / replace prescription drugs and frequently make the mistake of going to one of the ex-pat outfits that seemingly do an excellent job of emulating the high-priced American health care system.
First of all, all visitors to VietNam should carry a copy of their prescriptions with them so they know, accurately, what they are taking.
Secondly, prescription practices in VietNam widely with those in other countries and frequently a Vietnamese doctors prescription is not needed.
The best and freshest selection of drugs are best obtained in pharmacies that surround hospitals. Todays drugs are a far cry from past years with the Ha Noi government, along with local provincial governments, keeping a very sharp eye on product quality.
No more are dated drugs accepted from the West and Thai knock-offs are frequently scooped up by beady-eyed inspectors executing their mandate.
So when you are getting low on drugs search out a hospital and scan the nearby streets for pharmacies. With either your prescription in hand or a partially filled bottle / tube of your medication approach any pharmacy / drug store that appears well stocked and ask the pharmacist, who frequently speak English, if he is able to fill your needs.
You are likely to be offered a 'trade package' rather than a precise count of pills, which you can request, at a price that will pleasantly surprise you.
If the pharmacist requires that you obtain a Vietnamese doctors prescription you can likely be referred to a doctor that has a minimum comprehension of your language and will give you a summary examination sufficient to fulfill the requirements for your prescription to be issued.
Of course, if what ails you is new and serious, you might always obtain the opinion of these 'flash' Western operations in Ho Chi Minh City / SaiGon, Da Nang or Ha Noi. Frequently your short-term needs can be satisfied by a qualified Vietnamese doctor at far lesser cost - typically VNDong 100,000 ($5.90) per consultation. The ex-pat doctors fees often start at 20 times that price.
For dental needs a Canadian-trained doctor has established the Mapleleaf Dental Practice, located at 73 Vo Thi Sau Street, District 1, HCMC and is presently opening other branches in Da Nang and Ha Noi. Your writer can personally attest to their excellent service, so good that now his employers have group coverage for all the staff.
If you require a hospital visit there are some excellent Vietnamese hospitals with sections established for handling Foreigners, along with cash-registers to accept your payments! Such hospitals are to be found in Vung-Tau, HCMC/SaiGon, Hoi An, Da Nang and Ha Noi.
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