Key market drivers are strong GDP growth and rising income, as well as demand for better healthcare services which is an effect of higher living standard. Between 2015-2019, Vietnam will spend on average 7% of its GDP on healthcare, more than its peers: Malaysia (4.1%), Thailand (3.9%) and Indonesia (3.1%).
The services segment dominates the Vietnamese healthcare market, and especially the pharmaceutical and medical device segments are very import-driven. Swedish companies have opportunities across all of these segments. In the Services segment, to reduce the public central hospitals’ overload in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi will build 15 hospitals (5 000 beds) between 2016 - 2020 with a budget of USD 430 million while 24 district hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City will be upgraded. Meanwhile in the private sector, a number of modern general hospitals and clinics are also opening more branches.
The new and upgraded hospitals will require new devices/equipment, of which most will be imported. Currently approximately 95% of medical devices in the country are imported, mainly from Japan, USA, Germany and South Korea. From 2017, medical equipment import that only needs import license at present will require product registration as well.
In pharmaceuticals, drugs sold in the country are mainly generic. Nearly half of the drugs are imported. Key drug import markets are France, India and Korea. Foreign pharmaceutical manufacturers that do not have production facilities in Vietnam are not authorized to sell their products directly in the market and hence need to work with dedicated distributors.
Swedish healthcare and healthcare related companies such as AstraZeneca, Gambro, Getinge, and Moberg Pharma are active in Vietnam. The pharmaceutical and medical device segments in Vietnam however represent large opportunities, and there is large room for Swedish companies to take additional share.