Directions: Going South on Giai Phong, turn right at the first light after Đại Cổ Việt. Entrance is on the left.Phone: (+84) (0)24-35771100
176 Bui Vien, District 1, Saigon
“I agree,great place, and I know they are realy trying to make a difference. Ate breakfast here everyday for 3 months, truly friendly and the scrambelled egg is sublime....but the area is not the best...any other branches? or is this the only one?”
I give a one because there is not a zero. I don't even want to go into it but I guess I have to. I was prescribed a 24 hour monitor to wear because of a high blood pressure condition. It was explained to me, by the French cardiologist that my condition was serious and needed immediate observation and treatment. He mentioned things like stroke for example. I returned later to get the monitor only to find it had been given to a Vietnamese patient. I was told by a receptionist/translator it was not because she is Vietnamese but rather because her condition was more urgent! Apparently the Vietnamese nurse made this decision. Ok, fair enough. But now I am wondering having had a knee surgery there. Is my knee still messed up because I got bumped quality wise, you know, I am a foreigner, it certainly could not have been that serious. For you apologist Disneylanders out there, folks here do make decisions based on race, from both sides. In a restaurant or business this is annoying and pathetic. In a hospital, it is absolutely unacceptable. (And dangerous)
After hearing one my friend having the same experience with the gynecologist here, I decided to write a review.
I went to the French Hospital in 2009, but I tried to forget as quick as possible the horrible experience I had.
I saw the GYN in emergency, for urine infection. First, he was chocked I was living alone in Hanoi.
By "alone", he meant, "without my parents". (seriously, he asked "you are living with your parents here?").
He proceed his exam, trying to make me feel comfortable by saying jokes but didn't really work, he wasn't smooth and for a minute I thought he didn't care about hurting me.
Then he asked me if I was taking contraception.
Oh my mistake....He judged me based on my contraception, based on the "history of my vagina", saying it was a shame doctors were allowed to give such contraception, they should be banned from the medical association, that I will end up childless and I would be the only one to blame for.
(The contraception I use has been used by millions of women for 30 or 40 years).
There was no way I could even answer to him, he wouldn't let me talk!
I'm sorry, but when I go to the hospital, it's to get treated and not going out feeling worse from when I came in, almost crying, upset from what I've heard.
But I decided to forget about this guy (yes, guy, not doctor), and just never go back to the French hospital.
But recently, one of my friend told me she went to the French hospital, and the same thing happened to her, he yelled at her for being young and embracing her sexuality (= using contraception).
I think he should be banned from the medical association. I am actually trying to get in touch with them.
Apart from the GYN:
A friend had a bike accident, went to the French hospital, his leg was broken, they put a screw inside.
4 months later, his leg broke again, went back, did x-ray (btw, I think they are not aware of nuclear safety in their x-ray rooms), turned out the screw broke INSIDE the bone, because the metal was too thin/not good quality.
Had to have another operation.
They should get rid of their name, because no, don't pretend you have western standards when you are not even capable of correctly taking care of your patients.
There's plenty of western hospitals/clinic in Hanoi, AVOID this one.
"Do you have physiotherapy?"
"Hello, do you want psychoanalysis?"
"No, physiotherapy ..."
"Can I help you?"
"Do you have physiotherapy?"
"Hello sir, yes we have physiotherapy. But only for people who had surgery in our hospital."
"If I had surgery at your hospital I would surely need psychoanalysis."
"Forget it; could you please let me know if you can offer me physiotherapy."
"Did you have surgery at our hospital?"
"No. So can you offer me physiotherapy?"
"Sorry, we cannot, this is a limited service."
"So you are an 'international' hospital with no physiotherapy service? Wonderful. Thanks."
Why oh why did I even bother to call them in the first place? Perhaps I need psychoanalysis.
Firstly, what I like:
The hospital facilities. I'm not going to talk too much about these, because it's obvious to anyone who walks in through the front door. This is a developed world-standard hospital.
What is okay: we've been to see doctors twice here. The first time was a French guy, and he seemed rather hurried. Generally ok. Second time was Vietnamese - no problems, nothing special. I haven't had anything to complain about.
What I think is a bit iffy:
The two-tier pricing structure. On the website, it says that they have instituted this policy to facilitate access for Vietnamese patients. However, even at the lower rate that Vietnamese natives pay, services here are still 5-10 times more expensive than what you'd pay at a normal hospital like Bach Mai. For example, the basic maternity package for a foreigner is USD1200 and USD800 for a local. It's about USD150 at Bach Mai. A standard consult for Vietnamese is USD25 at Viet Phap, USD50 for a foreigner. It's VND50,000 or less at a normal place. The fact is that only middle-upper class/rich Vietnamese can afford this hospital, even at the lower rate that native Viets pay. So you have the absurd situation whereby foreigners are subsidising rich Vietnamese. I'd say there'd be plenty of occasions when the subsidised are in fact much wealthier than those paying the higher rate. I'm going to give Viet Phap the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is a genuine but misguided effort to do the right thing. However, if I was more cynical, I'd say they're gouging foreigners. A much better targeted and more compassionate system would be for everyone to pay the same higher price, and Viet Phap could use this additional funding to start an outreach programme in the countryside, which would seek out needy cases and offer them free treatment.
The just plain gross WTF?!:
The public toilets on the second floor of the maternity section are constantly piled high with little plastic cups containing urine samples. What the hell is that all about?! Every time I've been in there, it's the same. Seriously, that's just unacceptable. Why are patients peeing in cups and leaving them all around the toilets? And why aren't these being cleaned up?
EDIT - to Tunglinh above:
"For approx $800 is the 31 week package which just includes a couple visits, certain shots for mom and baby."
No, you're wrong. The complete package for foreigners is $2000. It's about $1200 for Vietnamese. The delivery package (which I mentioned) is $1200 or so for foreigners. It's about $800 for Vietnamese. Check the website if you don't believe me. You can also see the prices for Vietnamese nationals by changing the language to Vietnamese.
"Bach Mai is $150? "
It sure is. In fact, it can often be less. Your first deposit is VND2,000,000. If that covers all costs - and it very well could - then that's all you pay.
"and you have to walk up a couple flight of stairs.... stepping on urine on your way up on the floors."
"they probably do charge a bit more than other hospitals."
OK, it's clear that you're missing the point here. I'm not trying to say that it's not worth paying the extra to go to Viet Phap over Bach Mai, or that it's better to go to the VND50,000 doctor rather than the USD25 consultation at Viet Phap. I'm saying that the vast majority of Vietnamese wouldn't pay the extra to go to Viet Phap. Perhaps they can't afford it. Or perhaps they wouldn't care enough about the difference in service and cleanliness to fork out the extra. The upshot is that, even at the lower rate that Vietnamese patients get, Viet Phap is a hospital that only well-off to rich Vietnamese can afford or would pay for, and my point is that I don't think foreigners should be subsidising rich Vietnamese, as these wealthy people do not need to be subsidised. My point was NOT that Viet Phap is too expensive or not reasonable value for money.
"those two bathrooms were designated for women who came there for check ups and not for visiting or accompanying people."
And you know this how...? Sorry, but I doubt this to be true, as the toilets I wrote about are in the corridor in very close proximity to the visitor waiting rooms. Furthermore, there is absolutely no signage on or anywhere near these toilets that mentions they are designated exclusively for women who are there for check ups, and not visitors.
Final edit (I guess!): is your wife Vietnamese? Mine is. Consequently, we paid the Vietnamese price, which was - as you said - USD770 (I rounded up to USD800 in my review).
Take a look at the Viet Phap website. The foreigner price for the maternity package is USD1200. Check this link (click on the maternity package tab):
The Vietnamese price is here (click on the same tab as above):
OK, perhaps I shouldn't complain, as we didn't pay the foreigners' price, but I don't think that's the point. Basically, I find the dual pricing policy a bit iffy, for the reasons I mentioned above. What if, for example, it's the other way 'round - the mother's foreign and the father's Vietnamese? Do you pay the foreigners' price then?
My wife and I decided on having our first child here. At first, we weren’t 100% sure that would be the case, as I liked the look of Hong Ngoc and my wife was tossing up the idea of going to one of the Vietnamese hospitals - but in the end as we had good insurance there wasn't any real doubt that we were going to end up here. The insurance side of thing went smoothly, but that’s because I paid upfront and then sent everything off when it was done - our insurer wasn’t listed as one of their pre-approved ones, but I’d talked to other people who had had a kid there with them and they’d had it sorted no worries.
We did do the bulk of our ultrasounds at small Vietnamese ultrasound places as they gave us much longer consultations with more detailed descriptions and plenty of zooming and chatting about what was on the orange TV - that side of things at the French Hospital was pretty perfunctory.
The doctor who was in charge of my wife seemed very knowledgeable, and while his bedside manner wasn’t fantastic, he outlined the various options really well. We turned up one morning thinking it was go time, and my wife went in for observation but it was too soon, they said it could be anywhere from a few hours to a week yet. At midnight, we were back, and this time it was time for the show to begin. We had turned up with some family in tow, but they only allow one person to accompany for the delivery (we’d known that anyway but they were just along for moral support especially if it was a second false alarm).
Even though we had signed up for an epidural, my wife was still petrified, as she didn’t realise how well they worked. Once the drugs kicked in though, everything was great... I was no longer in the dog-house for getting her in this condition. It was so effective she didn’t even know that the baby had come out. The doctor my wife had been seeing wasn’t on duty, we had someone else but she was great too. The minor complication we had didn’t faze her, and everything worked out fine.
We signed up for their package for babies, which covers all jabs and a discount for when you take your little tyke in to get checked out for sniffles and stuff. Follow up service so far has been great but we haven’t really tested it yet (our hatchling has proven fairly robust so far, let’s hope that keeps up, touch wood).
So in the end, mother is fine, baby is fine, wallet is a bit lighter but everything went smoothly.
If you like Hanoi French Hospital...