Medical tourism holds high growth potential Van Nam HCMC – The HCMC government should give priority to developing medical tourism as it holds high growth potential, said a member of the municipal People’s Council. Council member Vuong Duc Hoang Quan of Binh Thanh District proposed the city government embrace medical tourism as a unique product of the city tourism sector. The city has good hospitals and hotels, and well-trained doctors and health workers, he said, so the tourism and healthcare sectors should work out a strategic cooperation plan in the next five years. He added local hospitals could offer medical services such as dentistry, plastic surgery, acupuncture and acupressure. World Health Organization data puts global medical tourism revenue at around US$60 billion a year, with annual growth of 20%, he noted. International tourist arrivals to HCMC totaled nearly 2.8 million in the first half of this year, a 15% rise compared to the same period last year, according to the municipal government. In the period the city tourism sector earned VND53.6 trillion in revenue, up 12% year-on-year, while the full-year target is VND112 trillion. The number of foreigners coming for medical examination and treatment accounts for a small proportion of all visitors to the city, but growth potential is huge, according to data of the HCMC Health Department. Around 40,000 international patients, especially from the United States, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Russia and Cambodia annually visit Cho Ray Hospital, the University Medical Center of HCMC, and FV Hospital, among others.