Vietnamese healthcare focuses on medical devices, facilities, IT system and efficiency.

Norwegian has well developed medtech clusters, and Vietnam has great needs. Where can the Norwegian companies help Vietnam in its healthcare system?

Photo: Tran Anh Tuan, Chim Co Group

Photo: Tran Anh Tuan, Chim Co Group

We see some areas where Norwegian companies may have competitive advantages to provide their products and services to the healthcare sector in Vietnam:

  • Designs for new hospitals, clinics and/or renovation of the old facilities
  • Medical devices to equip new hospitals and replace outdated devices
  • Health IT systems (software, IT solutions, data mining, CRMs, etc.) to better monitor, detect, control, etc. diseases and take care of patients
  • Hospital Management to increase healthcare efficiency


Vietnam healthcare pains

Growing demands

Vietnam is a low-mid income country with a growth rate beyond 5 % over the past decade. The country’s GDP in 2015 was US $ 2100 per capita. It is expected that Vietnam will continue its economic growth trend between 5 – 6 % for the next 10 years. The socio-demographic of Vietnam is undergoing changes with urbanization, larger ageing and growing middle–income population which create more pressure for the healthcare sector.


The “Vietnam 2035” Report made by the World Bank and the Ministry of Planning and Investment of Vietnam forecasted the trend of the ageing population toward 2035: “The number of Vietnamese older than 65 years will grow from 6.3 million today to 15.5 million. The share of the population older than 65 years will rise from 6.7 % in 2015 to 14.4 % in 2035”

90 % Medical Devices are imported

At the same thime as Vietnam is upgrading its public hospitals, the number of private hospitals is also growing. This growth drives more demand on new medical devices to equip new hospitals and/or replace outdated equipment, see pie charts below on what kind of equipment and market value.

Source: Vietnam Healthcare Presentation by Austrade

Source: Vietnam Healthcare Presentation by Austrade


Market Value

Source: EVBN Healthcare: Medical Equipment in Vietnam & BMI

Source: EVBN Healthcare: Medical Equipment in Vietnam & BMI

Main Exporters to Vietnam: US, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, Italy, France and S-Korea.
Local Producers: 50 medical producers with low value medical equipment.

Overwhelming and outdated equipment hospitals

At present, there are 170 private hospitals, equalling 11% of the total number of hospitals in Vietnam. We witness increased investment projects in building private hospitals to provide better healthcare services for middle and high income customers.

Hospitals % Year 2014 Beds
1,094 89% Public 276,516
1,264 100% Total 286,017
170 11% Private – 6 foreign invested 9,501

28.1 beds & 7.8 doctors/ 10,000 habitants (Year 2014)

95 % of pharmaceuticals are imported (2014)

Although Vietnam imports most pharmaceuticals, there is still a lack of interest from international pharmaceutical companies in producing drugs locally since the spending on drugs was still relatively low at US $ 37 per capita in 2013. However, this might be a good opportunity for first movers as the demands for drugs are predicted to have an annual growth rate of 16.5 % within 2013 to 2018.


Where is the money?

Healthcare wallets

The charts in the Health System Financing Country Profile: Vietnam, 2014 show that the Vietnamese government and private households increased their spending on health over the last 5 years. This spending trend is expected to continue in the future as a result of steady economic growth.

The spending for healthcare services were $ 7 billion and 13 billion in 2010 and 2015 respectively, a CAGR of 17 %.

Needing high quality healthcare Around $ 2 billion was spent for healthcare treatment abroad by high-middle income upward patients.

Potential Payers

By 2035, more than half the Vietnamese population will enter the global middle class which means that desire for quality healthcare and payment capabilities from this group will also increase robustly.

How to penetrate the healthcare sector in Vietnam? Contact:

If you want to get further market information or seek advice and assistance to enter the Vietnamese market, please contact:

Do Anh Tuan
Market & Admin Officer
Innovation Norway, Hanoi



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