A doctor walks along patients’ beds at Bach Mai Hospital, Hanoi, July 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy. It scored an average of 35.85 out of 100 in the 2019 edition of the Health Care Index released by U.S. magazine CEOWorld. Thailand has the best healthcare system in Southeast Asia, ranking sixth in the global list, followed by Singapore (24th), Malaysia (34th), the Philippines (38th), and Indonesia (52nd). The ranking measured 89 countries and territories around the world on five different variables: healthcare infrastructure, medical professionals’ competencies, cost, quality medicine availability, and government readiness. Taiwan topped the list, followed by South Korea and Japan. The rest of the top 10 were Austria, Denmark, Spain, France, Belgium, and Australia. At the bottom of the list were Bangladesh, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, and Venezuela. The Vietnam healthcare sector faces multiple challenges like outdated hospitals and chronic overcrowding. Hospitals in major cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi often have to deal with enormous numbers of patients from rural provinces, while urbanites with deep pockets often go overseas for treatment. The Ministry of Health estimated that around 40,000 people spend around $2 billion every year to travel abroad for medical treatment.
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