No one wants to have to see a doctor or specialist while traveling. The language barriers, cost and unfamiliarity are all valid concerns, however sometimes a trip to the doctor can’t be avoided.
For most foreigners traveling in SE Asia, it’s usually a bad case of food poisoning that will land them in a hospital or clinic, however this wasn’t the case for me. I found out a few days before I left London that I urgently needed to see a Dermatologist as I had a suspicious mole that could be melanoma. I have had melanoma twice now (more on that another time), so of course the tears came, the panic set in and I wasn’t sure what the hell to do. Thank god for Google.
I came across Family Medical Practice, which has clinics in Ho Chi Minh, Danang and Hanoi and I sent them an email explaining my situation. They emailed back very promptly with an appointment time to see a Dermatologist for a few days after I arrived in Hanoi. I was slightly relieved.
I couldn’t find many reviews or blog posts about the clinic and that is usually my go to when I travel. Lonely Planet has them recommended in their Vietnam guide, but doesn’t mention more than the contact details.
I wanted to write this post to assure anyone who stumbles across it that you are in good hands.
From the moment Tim and I walked in the door, we felt like we were being taken care of. There are many receptionists on the desk who all speak very good English. There was a form to fill out with basic details and a small, but comfortable waiting room. I am used to clinics always running behind in Australia and the UK so I was pleasantly surprised when I was called to see the Dermatologist right on time.
The Dermatologist I saw was friendly, professional and thorough. I was lucky in this case and did not need to have the mole cut out, but if I did need to have small procedure done, there was a surgeon on hand ready to go.
Once the appointment was done, I saw the cashier, paid my $US69, was called a Taxi and was back having a hotpot in the Old Quarter shortly after.
The consultation was a reasonable price, however if I did need to have a procedure done, the cost would have gone up dramatically. I am just happy to be able to continue my adventure in SE Asia stress free.
(& just a quick note to anyone out there reading – Please, please go and get you skin checked, use sunscreen, look after and love your skin!)
A 15 minute taxi ride from the Old Quarter (around 50,000 – 70,000 dong), though this can be longer due to the crazy traffic in Hanoi.