In order to get a work visa everyone needs to have a health check. Unlike some other parts of the world where the health check is simply a quick check to make sure you can walk, talk, and have no obvious difficulties, the health check in Vietnam is quite intensive.
It is important to note that there are only a limited number of hospitals and clinics that carry out the health check. If you do not use the allocated places then your health check will not be allowed.
Within Hanoi, the following offer the health check:
- Bach Mai Hospital.
- E Hospital;
- Vietlife Clinic;
- Duc Giang General Hospital;
- Dong Da General Hospital;
- L’Hôpital Français de Hanoi;
- Thu Cuc International General Hospital;
- St Paul General Hospital;
- Trang An General Hospital;
- Hanoi General Hospital;
- Hoe Nhai General Hospital;
- Hong Ngoc General Hospital;
- Dr. Binh TeleClinic;
In Ho Chi Minh City, the following clinics and hospitals offer the health check facility:
- Saigon General Hospital;
- Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital;
- 115 People’s Hospital;
- Raffles Medical General Clinic;
- Trung Vuong Hospital;
- Gia Dinh People’s Hospital;
- Hospital of Thu Duc district;
- Xuyen A General Hospital;
- Hospital of Binh Thanh District;
- Van Hanh General Hospital;
- Hong Duc III Hospital;
- CITY International Hospital
- Tan Hung General Hospital;
- Vinmec Central Park International General Hospital;
- General Clinic under Van Hai General Clinic Company Limited;
- FV Hospital;
- General Clinic under Y Khoa Hoang Khang Company Limited;
- An Sinh General Hospital;
- Hoan My Sai Gon Hospital;
- Saigon Columbia Asia International Clinic;
- General Clinic under the Viet Gia Health Care Joint Stock Company;
- General Clinic under Vigor Anbis Japan Joint Stock Company;
- General Clinic under Careplus International Clinics;
- General Clinic under Dai Phuoc Health Company Limited;
- Nhan Hau International Clinics;
- General Clinic (Clinic No. 2) under HCM City Family Medical Practice Company Limited
If you are located in a smaller town then you will find that there is at least one clinic or hospital – your work place will be able to inform you of the location.
Note that the health check does not have a standard price. As a result, it is important to check out the various clinics to find one that suits your budget.
When going to get your health check it is important to take you passport (as a means of identification) as well as photographs. Two photos are needed of the larger size (4 cm by 6 cm) and a white background is required. It is important to note that the photograph is recent (within the past six months). As you will be rolling up your sleeve/ taking your top on and off (for ECG / chest x-ray) etc. then it is suggested that you wear loose clothing.
Upon arrival at the clinic, you will be given a basic form for details. All of this is standard information ( e.g. age / address / gender etc. as well as information about medical history ( both yours and your family ) This includes questions on infectious diseases, heart problems, asthmas, cancer, epilepsy, TB or mental disorders.
You will then be given a large envelope that contains your health check form and directed off to the first room. As already mentioned, the health check is rather intense and you need to allow at least two hours for the whole process.
To summarise, you move from room to room to carry out the various tests. This is then signed off on your large envelope and health check form.
There are various rooms to visit as follows:
- Basic physical examination – similar to the complete health check in some other countries – blood pressure and a height and weight check ( for your BMI )
- Blood test – a large range of aspects are checked from testing for anaemia to liver function. As a result it is recommended that you don’t drink alcohol for 24 hours prior to the test
- Urine test
- ECG – this is a heart test and is a unique part of the health check in Vietnam. You simply lie down ( topless ) and small suctions are placed on your heart area, wrists and ankles
- Chest x-ray – the main reason for this is to check for TB ( tuberculous )
- Teeth – the dentist simply checks for huge problems, not a simple cavity
- ENT – your ears, nose and throat are all checked
- Eyes – a standard eyesight ( both long and short sighted )
Don’t worry if you go to the health check alone, there is no need for conversations – you simply move from room and room and are directed where to go to next.
At the end of going round from room to room, all of the results are given over to the doctor who will give you the final all clear.
Depending on the clinic you visit, they will either send the whole pack of results over to your school / centre or will give you the pack to submit to HR
Although time consuming, the health check is relatively straightforward and it is always useful to get everything checked out. Make sure that you arrive early (as many clinics stop for the lunchtime session meaning that if not completed you can end up spending most of the day there) and be open to the experience – it is a necessary part of the work permit process and if nothing else, makes for a great story later on!