The COVID-19 pandemic caused a global mobility deadlock with nearly all international borders closed for non-essential travel, left migrants in countries of destination acutely vulnerable with risks to health, as well as socioeconomic and social security status, compounded by diverging measures and impacts on mobility.
Ensuring the basic health needs of migrants are met, especially in times of crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, is critical for a migrant-sending nation such as Viet Nam. In 2019, more than 147,000 Vietnamese migrant workers left the country to work overseas under contract. The top three destinations were Japan, Taiwan Province of the People’s Republic of China, and the Republic of Korea.
Despite the efforts of the Government of Viet Nam to provide consular services and support its citizens overseas during the pandemic, little was known about the health of and health-care access experienced by the vast majority of Vietnamese migrants in host countries, especially the three largest destinations. Host governments might overlook migrants in health response plans, which could lead to failures in provision of adequate support. Thus, sending governments need to ensure their nationals are equipped with the means to protect themselves in a public health crisis.
In response, this study aims to better understand Vietnamese migrant workers’ experiences overseas in accessing accurate health-related information as well as health care during public health emergencies.