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Conditions for establishing a foreign-invested hospital in Vietnam

Legal ground:

  • Law on Enterprise 2020;
  • Law on Investment 2020;
  • Schedule of commitments on services of Vietnam in WTO;
  • Law on medical examination and treatment 2009;
  • Circular no. 41/2011/TT-BYT;
  • Decree no.87/2011/NĐ-CP.

Conditions for establishing a hospital

According to the schedule of commitments on services of Vietnam in WTO, foreign service providers are allowed to provide services through the establishment of 100% foreign-invested hospitals, joint ventures with Vietnamese partners or through a business cooperation contract.

Conditions on capital:

The minimum investment capital for a commercial presence in hospital services must be at least US$20 million for a hospital, US$2 million for a policlinic unit and US$200,000 for a specialty unit.

Conditions on investors:

If the investor is an individual, he/she must have capacity for civil acts have personal legal papers. If the investor is an organization, it must have a business registration certificate in a foreign country and must be consularly legalized.

Foreigners must have full capacity for civil acts, have sufficient legal papers, organizations must have Certificates of registration of establishment of enterprises abroad, and must be consular legalized.

Foreigners and overseas Vietnamese who want to establish a hospital in Vietnam must be granted a practicing certificate in Vietnam.

Conditions for obtaining a medical practice certificate in Vietnam:

  • To possess any of the following diplomas and certificates relevant to the form of medical practice:
  • Professional diplomas in health granted or recognized in Vietnam;
  • Certificates of herbalists;
  • Certificates of owners of herbal remedies or treatment methods.
  • To possess a written certification of the practice duration, except for herbalists and owners of herbal remedies or treatment methods.
  • To possess a health certificate for practicing medical examination and treatment.
  • Not to fall into cases of being banned from professional practice or work related to the medical or pharmaceutical profession under court rulings or decisions; being examined for penal liability: serving penal sentences or rulings of courts or administrative sanction decisions on confinement to educational or medical treatment establishments: being disciplined by caution or a higher level related to professional medical examination and treatment; or losing civil act capacity or having civil act capacity restricted.
  • Satisfy the requirements on language use in medical examination and treatment specified in Article 23 of this Law.
  • To have judicial history records certified by competent authorities of their own countries
  • To possess a work permit granted by a competent Vietnamese state agency in charge of labor under the labor law.

Apply for a hospital operating license

After completing the investment registration and business establishment registration procedures at the Department of Planning and Investment, the investor must carry out the following procedures: Apply for an operating license for the hospital. Conditions for a hospital to be licensed to operate are as follows:

Scale of hospitals:

  • A general hospital must have at least 30 patient beds;
  • A specialized or traditional medicine hospital must have at least 20 patient beds. Particularly, a high-tech ophthalmologic hospital must have at least 10 patient beds.

Physical foundation:

  • A hospital must be designed and built according to Vietnam construction standard 365:2007. Particularly, the designing and building of emergency, intensive-care and anti-toxic, operation, image diagnosis and testing departments must strictly comply with the Minister of Health’s Decisions Nos. 32, 33 and 34/2005/QD-BYT of October 31, 2005, and No. 35/2005/QD-BYT of November 15, 2005.
  • In case the hospital is built in a district, a district of a centrally run city, the area of ​​construction land is not guaranteed according to the provisions of Vietnam Construction Regulation No. 365: 2007, may be designed and built in the form of blocks or high-rise buildings but must ensure the following conditions:

– Departments, rooms and hallways are arranged conveniently for technique expertise after the interconnected and self-contained complex model within the hospital premises; ensure aseptic and environmental sanitation conditions prescribed by law;

– A minimum construction floor area of 50m2 per patient bed is ensured, the hospital facade is at least 10m wide. Hospitals commencing their operation before January 1, 2012, may continue operating but must satisfy the condition of the facade width by January 1, 2016, at the latest.

  • Satisfying the conditions of radiation safety, hospital waste management, fire prevention and fighting under the law;
  • Ensuring sufficient electricity and water supply and other conditions for patient care.

Medical equipment:

  • Having sufficient medical equipment and instruments suitable to the scope of registered professional operation;
  • Having sufficient vehicles for internal and external emergency transportation. Hospitals having no vehicles for external emergency transportation must have transportation contracts signed with facilities having such vehicles.


  • Departments:
    • Having at least 02 out of 04 departments of internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, for general hospitals, or suitable paraclinical departments, for specialized hospitals;
    • Medical examination department, which has a place for patient reception, first-aid and patient stay rooms, consulting room and minor operation room);
    • Para-clinical department, which has at least two units for testing and image diagnosis. Particularly, an ophthalmologic hospital having no image diagnosis unit must have a contract signed with a medical examination and treatment facility having a licensed image diagnosis unit;
    • Pharmaceutical department;
    • Other specialized departments and sections, which must be suitable to the scale, functions and tasks of the hospital.
  • Functional sections of general planning, organization and personnel, convalescence, finance and accounting.


  • The number of full-time practitioners (official staff) in each department must account for at least 50% of the total number of practitioners in this department;
  • Payroll limits, proportional structure of professional operation sections comply with Clauses 1, 2, 3 and 4, Section II of Joint Circular No.08/2007/TTLT-BYT-BNV of June 5, 2007, of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Home Affairs, guiding non-business payroll limits of state-owned health facilities;
  • A person in charge of professional and technical activities of a hospital must satisfy the following conditions:
    • Being a doctor with a practicing certificate suitable for at least one of the specialties that the hospital registers to operate;
    • Having conducted medical examination and treatment for at least 54 months. The assignment or appointment of a person in charge of professional and technical activities of a hospital must be made in writing;
    • Working on a full-time basis in the hospital.
  • The head of the clinical department must satisfy the following conditions:
    • Being a doctor with a practicing certificate relevant to this specialty;
    • Having conducted medical examination and treatment for at least 36 months. The assignment or appointment of a department head must be made in writing;
    • Working on a full-time basis in the hospital.
  • The head of another department must satisfy the following conditions:
    • Possessing a university degree and having worked in the such department for at least 36 months, counting from the date of receiving the university degree to the date of being assigned or appointed as the department head. The assignment or appointment of a department head must be made in writing;
    • Working on a full-time basis in the hospital;
  • The head of the pharmacy department is a person who works full-time at a hospital and must meet the provisions of Clause 1, Article 7 of Circular No. 22/2011/TT-BYT dated June 10, 2011 of the Minister of Health on regulations on organization the organization and operation of the hospital pharmacy department;
  • A surgeon must satisfy the following conditions:
    • Being a doctor specialized in surgery or a general doctor possessing a certificate of training in surgery issued by a hospital at a provincial or higher level or a medicine university or a training and direction center of a special-grade or grade-1 hospital attached to the Ministry of Health. A surgeon trained overseas must have a specialty certificate;
    • Having a written permission for conducting surgery or surgical intervention issued by the hospital director at the request of the person in charge of professional and technical activities of the hospital. If wishing to conduct medical examination and treatment, persons other than those specified at Points c, d, e, f and g of Circular no. 41/2011/TT-BYT working in a hospital must have a practicing certificate and may only conduct medical examination and treatment within the scope of assigned jobs. The assignment of jobs to these persons must be made in writing and suitable to the scope of technique expertise stated in their practicing certificates.

Scope of technique expertise:

  • Performing professional techniques in a list approved by the Minister of Health or the Department of Health of the province director.
  • In case foreign investors enter into joint ventures with Vietnamese partners, this procedure is not required.

Customers wishing to establish a foreign-invested hospital in Vietnam, please contact Viet An Law Firm for detailed support!

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