Foreign travel advice

Vietnam

Health

Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 115 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Health care in the cities is adequate for minor injuries. More complicated treatment may require evacuation to another country. Healthcare in rural areas is extremely basic. Many hospitals require guarantees of payment before they’ll start treatment. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. Complete the next of kin details in the back of your passport.

Some rice wines sold without recognised brand names have been found to have very high and sometimes fatal levels of methanol.

There have been reports of synthetic marijuana use causing psychotic episodes and hospitalisation.

UK health authorities have classified Vietnam as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

As of August 2017, there has been a significant increase in the number of dengue fever cases. The majority are in southern Vietnam, but there has been a sharp increase in the number of cases in the north especially in Hanoi. You should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Further mosquito borne viruses such as malaria and Japanese encephalitis occur in Vietnam particularly in the rainy season. Take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

There have been outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in Vietnam but the risk to humans is low. Risks can be mitigated by avoiding visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds, and making sure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.

If you’re taking prescription medication into Vietnam, carry it in your hand-luggage with a copy of the prescription. Some specific medicines can be hard to find in Vietnam and many medications on sale are counterfeit.