Many foreign investors are looking for a dose of good medicine in Vietnam’s health sector.
According to London-based Business Monitor International Company’s (BMI) recently released Vietnam Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Report for 2011’s third quarter, many foreign enterprises were expected to increase their interest in Vietnam’s health sector.
Indian-backed Fortis Healthcare International Group bought a 65 per cent stake from Ho Chi Minh City-based privately held Hoan My Medical Corporation, the Vietnamese hospital operator backed by Deutsche Bank, in a $64 million deal.
“Vietnam is the 13th most populous country in the world and its fast-growing economy is a tremendous opportunity for our group to consolidate and establish a high quality patient-centric tertiary hospital network,” said the group’s chairman Malvinder Mohan Singh.
Hoan My operates eight subsidiary companies in Vietnam and hoped to expand more hospitals nationwide, according to its website.
Vietnam was recognised as a potential market for foreign medicine and healthcare investors, said Allan Yeo, chief executive of the Happy Hospital under Singapore’s Thomson Medical Centre. It is expanding its investment in Vietnam, besides its existing hospital in Binh Duong province.
At last month’s talks with Ninh Thuan province People’s Committee, Yeo said Thomson wanted to build a specialised hospital in the province. The committee’s chairman Nguyen Chi Dung said the province would create all best condition for this project.
Yeo said Thomson wanted to expand its investment into other localities in Vietnam, such as a hospital in Hanoi.
In similar developments, South Korean pharmaceutical leader Korea United Pharma Group also last month trumpeted its long-term investment plan in Vietnam. Specifically, it would pour more cash into developing its existing $5 million pharmaceutical making facility in southern Binh Duong province. This facility was built in late 2009 and its products are exported to over 30 countries worldwide.
In June this year, US-backed AmeriSure Pharmaceuticals, LLC and Vimedimex inked an agreement, under which AmeriSure and Vimedimex would establish a detailed four year business partnership agreement. Whereas, AmeriSure would serve as the exclusive supplier of Vimedimex for all US manufactured and packaged pharmaceutical products and equipment, vitamins and cosmetics products, while Vimedimex would market and sell these products within ASEAN, China, Japan and South Korea.
Recently, Parkway Health of Singapore, Asia’s leading private medical group, entered the Vietnamese market by becoming manager of the Ho Chi Minh City high-tech health centre, a project of the Hoa Lam-Shangri-La joint venture.
The BMI report forecast that Vietnam’s pharmaceutical expenditure would increase from $1.71 billion in 2010 to $1.86 billion in 2011. The country’s healthcare expenditure would augment from $7.93 billion in 2010 to $8.66 billion in 2011.
The Ministry of Health’s Drug Administration of Vietnam reported that drug expenditure in the country would top $2 billion by 2012 and grow by 17-19 per cent in between 2009-2014. Combined sales of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines are forecast to augment by 17.2 per cent in 2011.