How to deal with accidents and emergencies in Vietnam

Updated 2023-11-12 09:01

If you're thinking about moving to Vietnam, may we be the first to congratulate you on this splendid decision! Vietnam is a country full of resplendence, character, and charm. The scenery is truly mind-blowing, the gastronomy will leave you beyond satisfied, and the people are warm and welcoming. Vietnam is a true gem of Southeast Asia and will offer you kindness at every corner.

However, like any country, there are downsides. Throughout this article, we will discuss the biggest dangers and threats to your health whilst visiting Vietnam. Everything we mention is applicable regardless of where you are in the country. However, the good news is that the majority of risks can be easily avoided by applying common sense.

The leading causes of accidents and emergencies in Vietnam


We'll cut right to the heart of many emergencies in Vietnam. According to Statista, there were 6.4 thousand road-related fatalities in 2022. The Family Medical Practice in Vietnam claims that more than 500 accidents involving foreigners are recorded every year.

Vietnam's roads are amongst the most dangerous in the world for numerous reasons. Traffic laws are in place; however, they aren't enforced as strictly as in many Western countries. In addition to this, potholes in Vietnamese roads are a common obstacle. Bear in mind that while accidents occur in the cities on a daily basis, rural driving is actually more dangerous due to less congestion and people driving faster outside of the city.

Tap water

Tap water in Vietnam isn't intended for consumption and is not safe to drink. The likelihood of a fatality is remote; however, there is a high possibility of stomach cramps and nausea. This could result in hospitalization if you have underlying health concerns. If you have no choice but to drink tap water, boil it first. Doing this will kill the majority of contaminants.

Food poisoning

Food poisoning also occurs in Vietnam from time to time. Emergencies of this nature can be unpredictable. If you suspect food poisoning, seek medical attention immediately. The best way to avoid accidents of this nature is to eat at reputable establishments, wash all your fruits and vegetables before eating, and shop at the supermarket when possible.

What to do in the event of accidents and emergencies in Vietnam

The Emergency Medical Response (EMR) team can be contacted in several ways. Keep the following numbers stored in your phone, on paper, and in your memory if possible.

  • *9999
  • (08) 3822 0121

Calling the first number would be the best option as it's easy to remember and faster to punch into a third-party phone in emergencies. In addition, the service is available in both Vietnamese and English. Upon receiving your call, the Emergency Medical Response will be dispatched to your location immediately.

The *9999 hotline and EMR are styled upon the American 911 system and are accredited by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. Should you need to call this emergency hotline, you will be asked numerous questions. However, don't panic. This protocol is the manifestation of decades of emergency response research from across the globe. Answer the questions quickly and calmly and stay cool. The emergency response team will determine the severity of the incident and dispatch an ambulance. Which hospital the patient is taken to will depend on proximity and whether they have the facilities to neutralize the patient's condition.

We thoroughly hope you enjoy your stay in Vietnam and additionally wish you the safest of travels.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.