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Establishing Specialist Clinics in Vietnam

posted 1 year ago

For the full detail of this post, please reference on this link: http://hmlf.vn/establishing-an-specialist-clinic-in-vietnam

Vietnamese citizens have been seeking medical examination and treatment services more frequently in recent years. Consequently, the current situation is that it has become quite common for individuals in need to travel abroad for treatment, often opting for neighboring countries like Thailand, China, or Singapore. Nonetheless, it would certainly be more convenient if foreign investors established clinics directly in Vietnam. Due to the current transparency in investment promotion policies, it is no longer complicated to create an specialist clinic that is foreign-invested in Vietnam.

Legal basis

– International treaties: WTO, AFAS, FTAs;

– Investment Law 2020

– Enterprise Law 2020

– Law on medical examination and treatment 2009

– Decree 87/2011/ND-CP dated September 27, 2011 

– Decree 109/2016/ND-CP dated July 1, 2016 

– Decree 155/2018/ND-CP dated November 12, 2018.

Conditions for investment

According to Vietnam’s Schedule of Commitments in the WTO (CPC 9312):

+ Foreign service providers may provide services through the establishment of a 100% foreign-invested hospital, a joint venture with a Vietnamese partner or through a business cooperation contract.

+ The minimum investment capital for a hospital is 20 million USD, a polyclinic is 2 million USD and a specialized treatment facility is 200 thousand USD.

According to Vietnamese law:

+ Having a business registration certificate and/or an investment license as prescribed by law for other medical examination and treatment establishments.

+ Having an operation license issued by the Minister of Health, the Minister of National Defense or the Director of the Department of Health.

The conditions necessary to obtain an operating license for a specialist clinic

Aside from the conditions outlined in Section 1, the specialist clinic must also fulfill additional requirements. These include complying with national technical regulations for specialist clinics as established by the Minister of Health. The clinic must also have an adequate number of practitioners who meet the clinic’s scope of professional practice. Additionally, the clinic must select a head practitioner with the appropriate professional qualifications corresponding to the clinic’s operational model.

About the facilities:

To comply with legal regulations, the specialist clinic is required to fulfill certain minimum area requirements for each type of function room. However, foreign investors seeking to establish new clinics often resort to renting whatever space is available. In order to avoid potential disputes, it would be advisable for foreign investors to negotiate with the lessor regarding necessary renovations to the leased space to adhere to the design and construction specifications required for a specialist clinic.

About the medical equipment:

Possessing sufficient quantities of specialized emergency drugs, including anti-shock medicine boxes.

About the personnel:

The technical specialist in charge must fulfill the following requirements:

+ They must hold a medical degree and possess a valid practicing certificate that corresponds with the specialty registered by the clinic.

+ They must have a minimum of 36 months of experience in medical examination and treatment within their respective specialty.

+ In addition to the technical specialist, all other medical staff working must also possess a valid certificate. They must also be assigned to duties within their specified professional scope.

About the finance: 

Under Vietnam’s commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO), providing medical examination services is a conditional business activity. In order to engage in this activity, foreign investors are required to possess a minimum investment capital amount of USD200,000. They must also operate as a legal entity with commercial operations in Vietnam. Additionally, this regulation acts as a barrier to entry for foreign investors interested in the medical examination services sector. However, it is worth noting that Vietnam has been making efforts to improve the investment climate. The country aims to attract foreign investment in various sectors, including healthcare.

Thus, it is possible that these regulations may undergo changes in the future. The purpose of these changes would be to facilitate greater foreign investment in the medical examination services industry. However, under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS), Vietnam does not impose any restrictions on foreign investors offering medical examination services. Therefore, if investors hold citizenship from ASEAN member countries, they are not subject to any minimum investment capital requirements.

The requisite formalities for setting up a specialist clinic

Foreign investors interested in establishing a specialized clinic and obtaining necessary licenses in Vietnam must complete the following steps:

Step 1: Submit an application for an investment registration certificate.

Place of application: Department of Planning and Investment where the head office is expected to be located.

Processing order: Within 15 days from the date of receiving the complete and valid dossier, the Department of Planning and Investment will issue the Investment Registration Certificate to the foreign investor. In case of refusal, the Department of Planning and Investment will reply in writing and clearly state the reason.

Step 2: Apply for an enterprise registration certificate.

Place of application: Department of Planning and Investment where the enterprise’s head office is located.

Term: 03 – 06 working days.

Step 3: Submit an application for an operating license for the specialist clinic.


In conclusion, foreign investors who establish specialist clinics in Vietnam are contributing to the country’s healthcare system, expanding access to specialized medical services for its citizens. However, to successfully establish and operate in this field, foreign investors must comply with Vietnam’s regulations and licensing requirements while also demonstrating a commitment to providing high-quality medical care. By doing so, foreign investors can not only achieve financial success but also fulfill a vital social responsibility in providing high-quality healthcare to the Vietnamese population.

HMLF is always available to offer assistance in understanding the procedures with authorities.

Harley Miller Law Firm “HMLF”
Head office: 14th floor, HM Town building, 412 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ward 05, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.
Phone number: +84 937215585
Website: hmlf.vn Email: [email protected]


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