The distinguishing feature of South Korean medicine is, first of all, the use of cutting-edge medical equipment. However, technology is not the only factor attracting tens of thousands of overseas tourists each year. Reasonable price policy for medical services is another point of attraction. The cost of most types of treatment and diagnostics in South Korea is by 25% lower from the prices in the USA for the same procedures and by 60% — in Japan. And individual services are no more expensive than in the neighboring Singapore or Thailand. Besides, in medical service provision the technologies and achievements of Western medicine are applied along with ancient Korean medical traditions. That is why South Korea is rightfully considered one of the leaders of health care in Asia.
Within the last ten years, health care system in Korea has gone through intensive development owing to sizable government investments into not-for-profit treatment centers. In May 2009, all state medical establishments were granted an official permit to offer medical services to overseas patients. Currently, 30 South Korean health care providers are members of the Council for Korea Medicine Overseas Promotion (CKMOP). Some of medical centers have already received international accreditation by the JCI.
To increase the quality of service to overseas patients, back in 2009 the Korean government established a special coordinating centre for ensuring support to overseas medical tourists. The country introduced special medical visas for medical tourists for the term of up to 1 year. Such approach and regulation of the activity of medical establishments at the state level is an additional guarantee of the best quality of medical services.
The country today has five priority fields of medical tourism, namely: complex diagnostics (it is possible to undergo multiple medical tests and get the results all in one day), plastic and reconstructive surgery, dentistry, dermatology, and traditional Oriental medicine. South Korea is famed for outstanding achievements in the sphere of oncology, infertility treatment, transplantation of organs and bone marrow.
Plastic and reconstructive surgery is the second most demanded procedure among overseas patients. Every year, there is a growing number of patients arriving to Korea for lifts, rhino plasty, and breast correction. People come here for more complicated surgeries as well: autologous fat transplantation (also called fat injection, fat transfer, and fat grafting) or facial bone correction. By the official data of South Korean Ministry of health Care, Seoul hosted over 60 thousand people in search of beauty and perfection in 2010.
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has medical centers specializing in the treatment of cardio-vascular system, pathologies of brain vessels, oncology, respiratory diseases, gastroenterology, neurosurgery, and dentistry. They are all equipped with state-of-the-art technology surpassing that of many European clinics. Surgeries on the heart are performed using minimally invasive methods, and Da Vinci Surgical System is widely applied in conducting surgical interventions.
Punchon (Punch'ŏn-dong) town is a well-known gateway for overseas patients coming to treat throat diseases and paralysis of vocal chords. Its clinics are especially popular among vocal singers, opera singers, and announcers.
Korea has numerous centers of Oriental medicine applying exclusively non-surgical treatment of joint and spinal diseases. Overseas patients are offered to undergo the therapy with traditional methods of Korean medicine: acupuncture with bee venom, burning and fomentation with local herbs, compressed air therapy, and wax treatment among others. Ancient methods proved to be equally effective compared to vanguard Western technologies.
There is no difficulty in visiting the “Country of Morning Silence” which is another name given to South Korea. There is excellent air connection between Korea and most countries of the world.
Best Traveling Time: September to November