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Vietnamese Spend $2bn on Healthcare Overseas

While foreigners are coming to Vietnam for medical tourism, locals are spending US$2 billion a year on healthcare abroad.

At a presentation in Hanoi, world-renowned French laproscopic expert Dr. Joel Leroy announced this figure, which aligns with Ministry of Health estimates, reports VietnamNet.

As medical facilities in the country have been slow to improve, wealthier locals are heading to places like Singapore and Thailand, South Korea, Japan and France to receive adequate care.

If, however, this amount of money was funneled into Vietnam's medical infrastructure and technical development at home, locals would not need to head overseas for medical assistance, according to Dr. Leroy's assessment.

The French surgeon also noted that Vietnamese doctors are equally as capable as their foreign counterparts but often don't receive proper support in local hospitals. In 2014, the United States and European Union approved a US$1 billion aid package to boost Vietnam's healthcare, among other things, while Bill Gates also announced his Vietnam Health Fund, a program which encourages affluent Vietnamese to donate to the improvement of the country's medical infrastructure.

[Photo via Flickr user DFID - UK Department for International Development]

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