South Korea
Country profile

Healthcare in South Korea

The days when healthcare in South Korea was more M*A*S*H than modern are long gone. Today, South Korea offers world-class healthcare to both its own citizens and visitors alike.

The South Korean healthcare system is run by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and is free to all citizens at the point of delivery. The system is funded by a compulsory National Health Insurance Scheme that covers 97% of the population. Foreign nationals living in South Korea enjoy the same access to universal healthcare as the local people.

South Korean healthcare offers the choice of occidental (Western) medicine, or traditional oriental treatments, many of which have been extensively researched and developed alongside their modern counterparts. The country leads the world in the treatment of skin diseases, both in techniques and technology.

South Korean hospitals are very well equipped, with a good doctor to patient ratio, and the so-called Big Four – Seoul National University Hospital, the Samsung Medical Centre, Asan medical Centre and Yonsei Severance Hospital – boast some of the best facilities in the region, if not the world.

In some ways, South Korea’s rapid growth and commercialisation creates its own health problems, with environmental pollution in the larger cities a real issue. Many older Koreans also harbour chronic diseases from the days before the country really took off. Like many western nations, South Korea’s healthcare system is focussed on treatment rather than prevention, so this is likely to remain an issue for many years until the modern healthcare facilities begin to show their long term effect.

For the medical tourist, the facilities simply could not be better, with a one stop medical tourism service that starts long before you leave home. Click on and you can find everything you need for your visit, and even get an online consultation.

The Council for Korean Medicine Overseas Promotion boasts over 30 top quality facilities, while there is plenty of government support and investment for the medical tourism sector as a whole.

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