Recently, Singapore has been in the spotlight for its healthcare. Aptly, during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s recent four-day official visit to the country, he mentioned that there were work opportunities for Singaporeans in Vietnam. He added that Singapore companies had invested in the services industries of the country – for example, in the manufacturing sectors and also in areas of healthcare.

Here we will look at some of these healthcare investments that had been made in Vietnam, how Singapore had shared its knowledge and some of the opportunities available for healthcare professionals in Singapore.

1. Han Phuc International Hospital and Clinic

Han Phuc International Hospital

As mentioned above, Han Phuc International Hospital was established in 2011 with the aspiration of becoming the first “Singapore standard” hospital in Vietnam. Han Phuc International Hospital was targeted at women and children and it specialises in obstetrics, gynaecology, paediatrics and neonatology.

The hospital was set up by Mr Nguyen Van Minh who recognised that access to competent medical services overseas was something that only the privileged could afford. Mr Minh and his family had been to Singapore annually for more than a decade for their annual health check-ups and medical treatment.

Han Phuc & Thomson Medical Centre

Han Phuc International Hospital was set-up with consultation from Thomson Medical Centre, a private hospital in Singapore. Thomson Medical Centre had worked with Han Phuc to co-develop operational procedures and policies for the nurses and non-medical departments. This collaboration ensured that Han Phuc could continue to retain the benefits of local standard practices while inheriting Singapore’s operational standard and system.

Han Phuc & Singapore’s medical consultants

Aside from Thomson Medical Centre, medical consultants from Singapore’s hospitals and medical centres had also collaborated with Han Phuc and shared their expertise. For example, Dr Tay Eng Hseon, former chairperson of KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital medical advisory board in Singapore, had served as the Chairman of the medical advisory board of Han Phuc.

Managing of critical departments at Han Phuc by Singaporean directors

During the initial operational stages of Han Phuc, Singaporean directors – with concrete experience in Singapore healthcare system – had assisted to manage the critical departments of the hospital.

Although most of these professionals had since left, there were some Singaporeans who continued to stay and contribute to Han Phuc. This includes Dr Tay’s sister, Ms Tay Huan Huan who served as the director of the specialist clinical centres at Han Phuc.

Hanh Phuc plans to build a network of specialised medical facilities for women and children across Vietnam and these facilities would continue to be benchmarked against Singapore’s standards. There are opportunities for Singaporeans’ healthcare professionals to work with these medical facilities and share their knowledge, where relevant.

2. Singapore Medical Group’s (SMG) foray into specialist healthcare in Vietnam

PM Lee had mentioned that there were some investments by Singaporean companies in Vietnam in areas of healthcare. SMG is one of these companies. On 5 January 2017 SMG signed a deal to invest in Careplus Clinic Vietnam, a healthcare specialist services provider which focuses on health screening, women’s health, pediatrics and diagnostic imaging.

The Careplus Clinic currently has over 50 medical professionals across 11 specialties located in one of the most affluent districts in Vietnam – Tan Binh District in Ho Chi Minh City.

This collaboration would see Singapore Medical Group contributing its expertise in the following areas: For example, SMG would arrange specialist seminars in Ho Chi Minh City on a quarterly basis; It would also leverage on its specialists in Vietnam to inculcate best medical practices with the hope that it would enhance the overall healthcare quality of the region. This is an opportunity for SMG healthcare professionals to contribute its expertise to Vietnam.

3. Singapore’s Hello Health Group bringing healthcare information to Vietnam

Beyond the areas of healthcare, companies had also invested in the bringing of healthcare information to Vietnam. An example is Hello Health Group, a Singapore-based startup that builds healthcare information portals for the average Southeast Asian. In October 2015, Hello Health Group launched in Vietnam (Bac Si means ‘doctor’ in Vietnamese) which was entirely in the local language and sensitive to local concerns.

This initiative is an example of a Singaporean start-up contributing to Vietnam healthcare consumers, cognizant of the country’s healthcare needs and concerns. MIMS

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