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Vietnam - Medical Placement in Ho Chi Minh

Provide support to a government-operated hospital in Ho Chi Minh City! Become a dedicated volunteer and help alleviate the daily stresses on the medical staff while learning about Vietnam's various medical practices and treatment methods.



Fast Facts

Location of ProjectHo Chi Minh City
Project LengthMin 1 week - Max 12 weeks
Arrival AirportTan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City
Volunteer WorkShadowing Medical Professionals
Number of Participants15 international volunteers
Age18 - 75

What's Included

AccommodationShared dorm room on college campus
FoodMeals provided
Orientation KitAll necessary training and introductions provided upon arrival
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersIncluded on arrival day
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be sent following registration
Insurance Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage

What's Not Included

Flights, personal expenses, visa (if required)


Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam’s largest city, has completely transformed over the last two decades as a result of Doi Moi, the1986 widespread economic reform. It went from a war-ravaged city to a flourishing metropolis, putting it in a position to rival Bangkok and other Asian powerhouses. The city’s gushing success can be seen in its five-star restaurants, fancy hotels, topnotch bars and clubs and luxury shops. However, much remains to be done to improve and expand the social and health services for its residents.


About the Project

This government-operated hospital serves the underprivileged community of Ho Chi Minh City. It aims to offer effective treatment to a large number of its local population with the help of international volunteers. 


Volunteer Work and Contribution 

This project offers the opportunity to volunteer alongside Vietnamese doctors while learning about the hospital’s medical practices and treatment methods. The project will start with an introduction to the hospital equipment, the operating procedures, and the staff with whom you will be working. Depending on your level of experience, you will then be assigned to either a nurse, staff member or a doctor whom you will shadow for the remainder of your placement (unless you are qualified to do more hands-on tasks). Your tasks may include:

  • Routine check-ups 
  • Monitoring patients
  • Consulting with the doctors and offering advice
  • Observing, recording and analyzing patient conditions
  • Assisting in the X-ray room
  • Helping in the children’s or adult’s ward (depending on the need at the time)
  • Shadowing and observing staff

Upon completion of this placement, you will receive a certificate to reflect your accomplishments. 

A Typical Day: You will volunteer five to six hours a day, Monday to Friday. Depending on the needs of the hospital at the time and your level of medical experience, you will shadow doctors performing medical procedures, shadow other hospital staff members and/or participate in everyday tasks (check-ups, monitoring etc.). The medical staff will hold regular meetings to discuss the needs and performance of the hospital. You will have the chance to attend these meetings and participate in the discussion. Although weekends are free, you do have the option to volunteer at the hospital on Saturday and/or Sunday. 

Please note: Your volunteer tasks will rely on your level of medical experience. If you do not have medical experience, then you are still welcome to apply to the program and will mainly be involved in shadowing hospital staff and performing non-medical tasks. The hospital will review all volunteers' CV/resume prior to your arrival in order to determine what activities you may be involved in during your stay.


Living Arrangements

Accommodation: You will stay on a college campus in a single-sex dorm room reserved for volunteers. Each room sleeps eight to16 people. Each room has a bathroom with hot water and a Western-style toilet. Extra nights at the accommodation can be booked for an extra fee per night, (three meals per day are included in the cost). To get to your project, you can take a taxi from the main road, which takes about 10 minutes at a cost of 40.000VND ($2 USD)/ one-way).

Food: Three meals a day are included and served at a restaurant on campus. Meals are typically Vietnamese, but also include some Western dishes (sandwiches, spaghetti, etc.).

Internet: WiFi is available at the accommodation.

Laundry: 20.000 VND (approx. $1 USD)/kg. – open Monday to Friday. 


Culture Week (highly recommended)

For an additional fee you can extend your stay with a week designed to introduce you to Ho Chi Minh and Vietnamese culture as well as give you time to get to know the other volunteers.  During the week you will visit some of Vietnam's iconic landmarks, market places and even go to a traditional water puppet show.  You’ll take cooking and language lessons, learn about traditional jewelry techniques and get an understanding of Vietnam’s past, present and future.


Minimum requirements

  • Minimum age: 18 
  • Able to work in hot and humid climate
  • CV/Resume 
  • Previous medical experience, pre-medical student, medical student or qualified nurse/doctor 
  • Immunizations (please consult your local travel clinic)
  • Police Clearance is required

Here's an excerpt of Deserie's experience:

  "It was truly an amazing experience. The coordinators were very friendly and accommodating and I learned a lot during my stay. Even though it was crowded, overall the program was great and I would recommend it to anyone. I’ll surely miss everything about Vietnam from its rich history and culture, food, friendly students, to the patients in the hospital who kept asking me if I’m Vietnamese. I’ll especially miss the lifelong friendships I had made."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Here's an excerpt of Mihindu's experience:

"It was quite the eye opening experience to see how efficiently very little resources could be used to yield the maximum care for the patients.The best part of the volunteering was actually being able to do procedures and assist the nurses in their daily activities. I had already been trained in how to do many of the skills, so it was as simple as the nurses showed me how to do them in the Vietnamese way and off I went. The hands on experience you get through GoEco is second to none."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!



Here's an excerpt of Gillian's experience:


"Some tasks that I performed included removing acupuncture wires and needles, administering B12 or antibiotic injections, cleaning extremely severe wounds, as well as observing and shadowing surgeons. To be able to participate in this project, one should be warned that you will see extremely shocking wounds, and a ton of blood... On the other hand though, if you are ready for it, this project taught me so much, and really opened my eyes to third-world country care and how different countries work. I loved every minute I spent in the hospital, soaking up the miles of information that was available there, even just by observation!

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Here's an excerpt of Doris' experience:


"This program takes place in an orthopedics hospital in which we would rotate, from day to day, between the many different departments it has to offer. My personal favorites were radiology and surgery, but there are also wound care, rehabilitation (mostly for patients that have had a stroke of children with various physical disabilities), acupuncture and traditional medicine departments."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Here's an excerpt of Jessica's experience:


"Everyday they put you in a different department so you really get to learn many things. For example, you can do acupuncture and injections, physiotherapy with disabled children, X-rays, surgery and more. Personally, my favourite one was the surgery department. It was my first experience in a surgery room and I could really see everything from close. I had the chance to see many big surgeries such as bone graft, nerves reconstruction, internal fixation of broken bones and many more. The doctors are also very welcoming and love to learn more about you. They are also glad to answer any questions about their practice."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


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