It has been a while since I visited a hospital not as a patient, and I must confess, I felt the old stirrings. In particular, at what I was seeing this morning ….

… one of my last projects in Jakarta was trying (without much success) to find corporate sponsorships for low-cost paramedics on motorcycles for Jakarta Ambulance Service.  Then, we had looked at the provision of the absolute basics.

Here in Ho Chi Minh, perhaps with the remnants of the French colonial days still playing a large part, I was blown away by the French-manufactured, international standard mobile ICU ambulances that provide complete management of cardiovascular emergencies and diseases, including fibrinolysis, whether on-site or during transport to the hospital (cardiovascular diseases is one of the largest killers in Vietnam).

Perhaps one of the big differences – I stand to be corrected – is that unlike Indonesia and Thailand, doctors from foreign countries are allowed to work without supervision of local doctors. It was truly lovely to see Vietnamese doctors working alongside their French counterparts in wonderful synergy and culture of youthful enthusiasm and openness.

A few facts about this city:

  1. Be careful on the roads! The number of fatalities on the roads in the city increased, attributed to young people with poor driving skills on the road (70% of  deaths on the road involved youngsters);
  2. There will be free wifi all over the city in a few months’ time … yayyy!
  3. New money coming in – 630 foreign investors registered with the Vietnam Stock Regulators in the first five months;
  4. For night life, Saigon Saigon!

So, without much ado, we shall adjourn to explore nightlife in Ho Chi Minh xxx