At Ninh Binh’s largest traditional medicine hospital, doctors use a combination of ancient and contemporary practices, from laser treatments to steam baths, acupuncture to herbal drinks passed down over thousands of years.
Though advancements in scientific research and medicine are rapidly sweeping the nation, many Vietnamese prefer to be treated traditionally, and many doctors wish to stick to their roots as well.
Incorporating both methods and allowing each case to be assessed individually, Ninh Binh’s hospital places a strong value on what each patient believes to be best for him- or herself.
One elderly patient at the hospital stops “Vietnam Reporter” during a tour through the hallways, and begins to talk animatedly in Vietnamese.
Translated, she informs us that when she was admitted to the hospital she was unable to walk.
However a few weeks on and she is back on her feet.
Conditions at the hospital are clean, she says, and the staff do everything in their power to cater to her needs.
She trusts traditional medicine completely, attributes it to her recovery and hopes to be back at home with her family soon.
At the end of this short, impromptu interview, she enthusiastically shakes hands, and in turn smiles and delivers the only English word she knows: “thank-you”.