Medical Tourism in Korea
Every year, more and more foreigners are choosing to come to Korea. But they’re not coming to travel or to work. So what are they coming here to do? They’re coming for medical tourism, a booming industry throughout East Asia.
Korean medical treatment is amassing a great reputation around the world. More and more foreigners are opting to undergo examinations, dental work, surgical procedures and alternative therapies in Korea’s cutting-edge facilities. Having a wealth of both oriental and modern medicine experts is a huge selling point, too.
Benefits of traveling abroad to get medical treatment
Some people are quick to point out that foreigners end up paying higher prices than Koreans for medical services. While there is definitely some truth to this, that is something you kind of buy into with medical tourism. You will certainly be paying less than you would back home for private healthcare. As well, many doctors are now offering their services in English, Chinese, or Japanese (depending on the clinic), in addition to providing excellent standards of care.
Even for foreigners from countries that provide free healthcare, the option of getting immediate treatment is preferable to being on long waiting lists. Some foreigners are also attracted by the prospect of recuperating away from home in a new and interesting country.
Visa Requirements for Medical Tourists
If you do not live in Korea, you must apply to hospitals here to receive treatment. Once your application has been given the OK, you will be invited to receive treatment via a written confirmation. The visa needed is dependent on the length of treatment. There are two types of visa issued in such situations, both temporary:
How to Apply for a Medical Tourist Visa:
Applicants for the visa must present these documents to the Korean embassy in their home country:
Process for Foreigners already living in Korea
If you are already living legally in Korea, you won’t have to do any of the above. An Alien Registration Card (ARC) will be enough to proceed with any treatments required.
What treatments are available in Korea?
Almost any treatment you can think of is offered in Korea. Korea’s medical tourism industry is thriving and the projected numbers indicate that the influx of people looking for cheaper treatments will continue to increase. Here are some popular options:
Want to find a foreigner-friendly medical center? Visit WorknPlay’s Medical Centers Directory for Foreigners.