SEOUL, May 22 (Korea Bizwire) – Medical tourism is on the rise as a blue ocean in Korea. On May 21, according to the government and related industries, the number of medical tourists has exceeded 210,000 and local governments are setting up medical tourism complexes aiming to make the magnet of medical tourism.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare said the total medical expense the tourists have spent in Korea was 393.4 billion won in 2013, a 47.2 percent increase over the previous year.
One of the busiest medical tourist locations in Korea is Gangnam District in Seoul. The area south of the Han River has formed a medical sphere which specializes in cosmetic procedures including plastic surgery, LASIK, LASEK and hair implant.
The number of medical tourists who have visited Gangnam was 19,135 in 2010, 24,535 in 2011, 34,156 in 2012 and 43,000 in 2013, more than a 25 percent growth each year.
Busan plans to attract medical tourists to the big hospitals in the city. The hospitals in western part of Busan like Donga University Hospital, Kosin University Hospital, Busan Adventist Hospital and Kang Dong Hospital have voluntarily signed an agreement to form a “Medical Tourism Belt.”
Busan University Hospital is on its way to participate in the movement as well. They are determined to join forces to turn the steps of medical tourists heading to the capital area to the south.
Gangwon Province in the east has even established a “Medical Tourism Support Center” which plays the pivotal role in organization of a medical complex. The center officials visit China, Russia and other countries to promote the medical tourism in their province.
Daegu, Korea’s fourth largest city, has come up with a motto, “Medi-city (Medical City) Daegu” to form an urban medical tourism cluster, and Jeju, the island province, is directing its efforts towards incorporating medical tourism into its abundant tourism resources.
Written by Robin Koo (email@example.com)