South Korea seeks medical tourism boom


The South Korean government is supporting the nation's medical tourism industry in the hopes of securing the country's future as a key destination for patients seeking treatment abroad, it has emerged.

According to a report by AFP, the nation hopes to become Asia's new medical tourism hub and the government is increasing efforts to facilitate this.

South Korea offers high quality medical treatment at competitive prices and is well known for its cosmetic surgery provision.

The formation of a Council for Korean Medicine Overseas Promotion (CKMP) has already proved successful, with affiliated hospitals receiving around 16,000 medical tourists in 2007 - up from 750 in 2005.

It is hoped that the figure will rise to 100,000 per year by 2012, and cosmetic surgery is expected to play an important role.

Yoon Eul-Sik, a Korea University Hospital professor and manager of the Korean Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, told AFP: "We are the best in Asia in aesthetic treatment.

"South Korean plastic surgeons are well known abroad for abundant experience and expertise."

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