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HOME > ABOUT MOHW > Press Release
ABOUT MOHW > Press Release
Subject Better and Safer Care for Foreign Patients in Korea
Date 2017-06-22 Hit 30164

Better and Safer Care for Foreign Patients in Korea

Marking one year of milestone legislation in foreign patient support

June 23rd 2017

 The Act on Support for Overseas Expansion of Healthcare System and Attraction of International Patients took effect from June 23rd last year. As its one year of grace period ended, Korean hospitals and clinics finished registration and renewal processes in due course. And this laid the institutional foundation for safety and convenience for inbound foreign patients, the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Korea said.

 Hospitals and clinics are now required to purchase medical liability insurance, apart from at least one medical specialist for each medical department. The legal requirements for medical tourism agencies were not changed, but they renewed registration as well. After all, 1,560 hospitals and clinics and 1,047 agencies across the nation either renewed or newly registered with the Ministry, which totaled 2,607 as of June 2017.

The ministry is planning to publish a list of registered hospitals and mostly visited hospitals as a booklet to help foreign patients make informed decisions. Hospitals and clinics on their part will have to post signs so that anyone can recognize they are officially registered.

Ever since the law has been enforced, the government has continued its commitments. The establishment of a five-year comprehensive plan strengthened institutional foundation for higher international competitiveness and wider spread of Korean medical tourism. The ministry is moving forward to introduce an assessment and accreditation system to select outstanding hospitals treating foreign patients. Medical advertisements targeting international patients are exceptionally permitted at ports or airports. On the other hand, notification of commission rates and duty of report of illegal brokers are to safeguard market justice.

All these efforts resulted in the visit of 364,000 foreign patients in Korea in 2016 and their spending of 860 billion Korean won for medical treatment. Such an influx of international patients is expected to bring a synchronized growth of medical tourism and neighboring industries. And raised brand recognition of Korea’s healthcare will lead a rise in export volume across the general health industry, including pharmaceuticals or health IT sector.

More services to ensure conveniences of foreign patients queued for implementation. Currently offered are tax benefits for cosmetic procedures, incorporation of traditional cuisines like halal into hospital meals, provision of medical interpretation, and operation of an online-based reservation management platform (http://health.medicalkorea.or.kr).

To further promote Korea’s excellent healthcare system and strengthen its global network, it will foster more global healthcare professionals and medical interpreters and expand training for international physicians and dentists in Korea.


Better_and_Safer_Care_for_Foreign_Patients_in_Korea.docx (27 KB / Download : 510)


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