S. Korea providing medical guidance services to foreign visitors

South Korea’s high-tech and affordable healthcare
is attracting more foreign patients to the country. And to make the most of this trend, the government
has established medical information centers to try and attract more medical tourism from
overseas. Our Seo Eun-kyung reports. More and more people from overseas are coming
to South Korea for medical care and services, but many don’t know where to turn to find
affordable, quality care. As a result,… the South Korean government
has established information centers to help them out. Located in the heart of Seoul, the Medical
Korea Information Center provides foreign visitors with information on medical institutions
throughout the country. There’s also a legal assistant who can help
with medical disputes in five different languages — English, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and
Arabic. “We mostly get Russian and Chinese visitors
coming by. Russian patients want information on hospitals
that can treat serious medical issues. Most of the Chinese come for consultations
on cosmetic procedures.” Foreign patients come to South Korea to benefit
from medical technologies that may not be available in their home countries. For example, health services related to obstetrics
and gynecology are highly sought out by Russian visitors. Since it’s harder to find treatment in Russia
for infertility, Russians come to South Korea to increase their chance of starting a family. “We get people from many different countries,
but mainly Russia, China and the U.S. There’s a lot of demand for fertility tests,
in vitro fertilization and for freezing eggs.” Given the quality of treatment and the reasonable
cost, the medical tourism industry in South Korea has seen exponential growth in recent
years. In 2009,… the number of foreign patients
coming to South Korea was a mere 60-thousand. Within the space of a decade that figure has
jumped more than five-fold to over 320-thousand and it appears more and more people from around
the world will keep coming. To make things even more convenient,… the
medical center opened a branch at Incheon International Airport a couple of months ago. It allows foreign guests to get the medical
information they need without even having to leave the airport. Seo Eun-kyung, Arirang News

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