Medical information center for foreigners opens in Seoul

Korea has opened a new medical information
center to cater purely for foreign visitors. The country has become a real medical tourist
hotspot for people around the world in recent years. Kim Min-ji went to check it out… and filed
this report. Tserendolgor is from Mongolia. She’s in Seoul to receive treatment for a
thyroid and digestive condition she’s been battling because services here are more reliable
than back home. “This Korean hospital is very famous among
Mongolians. This is my second visit. The medical equipment and doctors here are
top notch and the service is excellent.” She is just one of many foreigners receiving
medical treatment in Korea. Back in 2009, just over 60-thousand medical
tourists visited the country,… but by 2014, the figure grew more than four-fold. As of the first half of last year, the accumulative
figure topped 1 million. Business is booming, but not for all hospitals. In a recent survey of some 200 local institutions,…
interpretation services were needed the most in order to attract foreign patients, followed
by counseling support for visa issues. To offer a helping hand,… the health ministry
opened its first Medical Korea Information Center in central Seoul. “The center is expected to make it much more
convenient for foreign patients in Korea — offering interpretation services, medical consulting
as well as giving legal advice to sort out medical disputes.” Effective promotion of Korea’s medical tourism
program is a huge factor for success,… but organizers says there’s more to it than that. “We’ve seen explosive growth during the past
eight years. But at the same time, problems have grown
too, including the issue of illegal brokers. As the market gets bigger, it’s not just about
promotion of our services. Foreigners need to trust us in order to come
to us.” Some of the center’s first visitors were impressed. “It’s very good that I can get Russian services
here. I’ve had difficulties before because I don’t
speak Korean.” Along with the opening of the center,… Korea
plans to boost comprehensive support and offer more diverse medical tourism packages,…
with the aim of attracting some 400,000 visitors this year alone. Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.

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