Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pregnancy Costs In Vietnam

So one of the things we checked out prior haphazardly doing some family planning was the medical quality, and medical costs, for having a kid here.

As foreigners, one is able to buy medical insurance through internationals such as AIG or its affiliates, but medical costs are low enough that we chose to pay out of pocket - no need to potentially navigate forms in a foreign language when one needs some care.

The big foreign hospital in Hanoi is the French Hospital (L'Hospital Francais or some such) - in HCMC it is the Franco-Vietnam Hospital (FV Hospital). We checked it out but weren't so enthused by the service, and sometimes it was like playing telephone with the French doctor speaking to the local french speaking nurse, who then retranslates into a English/Vietnamese mix for us.

So instead we chose an upper end medical clinic, Family Medical Practice (how generic!), which has outposts in both Hanoi and HCMC. Here we have a foreign trained local doctor who's English is far superior to the folks at L'H.

The cost for the maternity package, without delivery, at the clinic was $800USD. The cost of the maternity package, inclusive of delivery, at L'H is something on the order of $2,000 and change. Delivery at the hospital is another $800 or so, but we're planning on having the kid qualify to run for president, so doesn't matter.

One thing that frustrated me was that the maternity "package" did not include blood tests to check for chromosomal defects - yeah, it should be an option to check whether your kid has Down's Syndrome. I'm sure plenty of parents-to-be, when presented with that option, decide 'nah.. it's not in the package so it must not be important.' Nickel and dime'ing is constant across cultures in the medical profession, apparently. So add $150USD to the above package price.

So medical costs here are substantially lower than what we would experience (without insurance) in the States. The quality seems fine, but who the heck knows ('what do you call the person with the lowest GPA in the graduating class? doctor.').

I did read in the local paper today that Viet-Duc Hospital (Vietnam-German hospital, another foreign one in Hanoi) got fined by the government for illegally disposing of medical waste. Instead of disposing it per their agreed regulations, the hospital sold the waste (being syringes, medicine bottles, IV tubes, etc.) to recyclers - so basically it gets back out into the marketplace. Now, medical instrument recycling happens in the States too, and it's a very big and profitable business there, but somehow I doubt all the recyclers here adhere to an ascertainable sterilization standard. Just pay and pray.


Louis said...

Please feel free to contact me on 0908606098 when some one give a birth in HCMC. I will finish a Vietnamese Certificate of Birth for your baby.

kimberly said...

I had some problem with my first pregnancy, i wanted to be pregnant and have my first baby, buy my husband had erectil dysfunction problem, so we decided to buy viagra and after that he turned very strong and could get powerful erection after this medical treatment. Thank to this i have two litle and beautiful girls.