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Most foreign Covid-19 patients in Vietnam covered by medical insurance

By Le Nga   June 8, 2020 | 07:49 pm PT
Most foreign Covid-19 patients in Vietnam covered by medical insurance
A British man and his wife (R) at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, where they were both treated for Covid-19, April 14, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Chi Le.
Most of the treatment costs for foreign Covid-19 patients in Vietnam, VND20-538 million ($862-23,180) per person, have been covered by overseas insurance firms.

The Health Ministry said Monday that most foreign patients had bought travel insurance before coming to Vietnam.

The average cost of treating a patient at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi is VND20-45 million. The hospital does not collect payment directly from the patients for the latter to get them reimbursed by the insurance firms later. Instead, it treats the patients and sends a report and bills to the insurance firm, which sends the payment.

In many plans, the insurance companies have also paid for the visa extension fees for patients while they were being treated.

The National Hospital for Tropical Diseases has successfully treated two critically ill British patients, both of whom were covered by travel insurance.

One of them, a 69-year-old man, was admitted to the hospital on March 8 and discharged on April 14.

After being admitted to Lao Cai Hospital in the northern highlands, his illness worsened and he had to be transferred to the intensive care department at the Hanoi hospital. He was one of three critically ill patients being treated at the hospital at the time.

His insurer paid a total of VND538 million ($23,180) for his hospital treatment.

The other patient, a 74-year-old man, was admitted to the hospital on the same day as the other patient and released one day earlier. As an elderly patient who’d suffered from blood cancer for 10 years, the process of treating him was not easy, doctors said.

His total hospital bill was VND284 million ($12,230).

The treatment bill for a 66-year-old British female patient admitted March 8 to the Hue Central General Hospital and discharged on April 7 amounted to more than VND333 million ($14,360).

As of Monday, 49 out of 50 foreign Covid- patients had recovered and been discharged from various hospitals in the country.

The remaining patient, the most critical of all in the country to date, is being treated at Cho Ray Hospital in HCMC. "Patient 91," the 43-year-old British pilot who was working for national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines, has come out of a coma of more than two months during which he was kept alive by the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine. His case is currently under review by his insurer.

The head of HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases, where he was treated for 60 days before being declared free of the novel coronavirus and transferred to Cho Ray Hospital, said it had cost the hospital over VND3 billion ($129,200) to treat the patient.

Quarantining and treatment is free for Vietnamese patients. Foreigners, meanwhile, can enjoy free quarantining, but have to pay for their Covid-19 treatment.

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