Korea to attract medical tourists amid economic slowdown


Korea's cosmetic surgery industry is becoming a victim of the nation's economic slowdown, with many residents deciding to delay surgery until their finances are in better shape, it has emerged.

According to Kin Byeong-geon, director at BK Dongyang Surgery Clinic in Seoul, there has been a significant fall in demand for private elective surgery, even in the affluent area where the clinic is located.

"We saw a 30 per cent drop in double eyelid operation and rhinoplasty from last year, and more than a 40 per cent decline in facial contouring surgery, which costs five to six million won (approximately £2,445 to £2,934)," the director told

However, hospitals and clinics are confident that they can weather the storm either by delaying the opening of new facilities or by focusing their attentions on medical tourists (

Figures from the organisation Korean Hospitality in Healthcare indicate that around 16,000 patients sought medical treatment in Korea last year.

Jang Kyong-won, a spokesman for the Council for Korea Medicine Overseas Promotion, told the Korea Times that the "explosive increase" could be attributed to low treatment prices.

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