New Research on Vietnam Highlights Sensitivity to Costs of Healthcare Consumers

HANOI, VIETNAM—Vietnamese people who are uninsured, married, and employed are more inclined to pay a higher price for a regular physical check-up, according to a latest research titled “Healthcare consumers’ sensitivity to costs: a reflection on behavioural economics from an emerging market” that was recently published on Nature Palgrave Communications by a team of Vietnamese researchers.

 

The study, which marks the first publication from Vietnam on the social science arm of the world’s leading academic publisher Nature, measured the sensitivity to costs of periodic general health exam among over 2,000 respondents in Hanoi and the vicinity. This medical service is not covered by Vietnamese health insurance.

 

Particularly, the above group of Vietnamese respondents was found to be more risk averse than their counterparts due to the justifiable fears of future uncertainty and higher cost, whether that be an expensive hospital bill or disruption to the existing job and lifestyle.

 

The findings, which suggest lowering the cost of regular health check-up to below VND2 million ($90) per person, carry important implications for Vietnam, which has a young population and a low GDP per capita of approximately $2,000.

 

Vietnamese health consumers are facing increasingly common issues–higher medical costs and widening income inequalities–that, in the worst case, could push them to the point of destitution.

 

The study (DOI: 10.1057/s41599-018-0127-3) can be read in full length at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41599-018-0127-3#article-info

Sources: Nature Palgrave Communications June 19, Vietnam Panorama June 21

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