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  Medical Tourism
More Medical Tourists Visit South Korea
Incoming Medical Tourists Will Surpass 400,000 in 2018
KHIDI President Ko Kyung-Hwa

The number of foreign medical tourists visiting South Korea will reach 400,000 by the year 2018, forecast the South Korean government-run medical institute.

The Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) made the prediction in a news release on Feb. 1, 2012.

It said that the trade balance in medical tourism recorded the surplus of 6,500,000 US dollars (7,320,950,000 won) in the year 2011.

Foreign medical tourists spent 115,600,000 US dollars (some 130 billion won) in South Korea whereas South Koreans paid 109,100,000 US dollars (some 123 billion won) for medical treatment in overseas countries.

Both the number of foreign medical tourists visiting Korea and their expenses has been on the sharp rise.

The amount of expenses of foreign travellers increased from 59 million US dollars in 2006 to 69,800,000 US dollars in 2008. It further rose to 89,500,000 US dollars in 2010.

The number of foreign medical tourists was 81,789 in 2010. But it will pass 200,000 in 2013, according to the institute.

It will reach 300,000 in 2015, and 400,000 in 2018, respectively, the institute predicted.

The revenue from the incoming medical tourists will increase to 1,509 billion won and 16,691 jobs will be created with the influx of the medical tourists.

The institute said that medical tourists visit the nation for various reasons.

Their reasons are for internal medicine (13.5 percent); medical checkups (13.1 percent); family medicine (9.8 percent); dermatology (9.4 percent); orthopedics (4.9 percent); and plastic surgery (4.6 percent).

Still medical tourists from mostly Japan and China visit the nation for mostly plastic surgery and skin cares.

But, cases are increasing in which tourists come to Seoul for such serious symptoms as cancers and cerebrovascular diseases.

A total of 9,993 medical travellers (or 12 percent) visited the nation for serious medical treatments in 2010.

More medical tourists are visiting the nation in search of advanced medical treatment, the institute added.




 

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