Medical Tourism in South Korea Data: Numbers & Projections
South Korea is receiving an increased number of patients from abroad every year. Since the creation of the medical law for foreigners in 2009 the market has grown over 60% in average per year. According to calculations around 60,000 foreign visitors came to the nation for medical purposes in 2005, against almost 300,000 at the end of 2015.
Meanwhile, the expenditure by foreigners, and therefore the revenue of medical institutions in South Korea has gone from approximately 54 million USD to around 600 million USD in 7 years (2009-2015).
As a result, the number of jobs created around the hospitality and medical area related to medical tourism have increased by 39% per year during those 7 years. The total count sits above 45,000 new medical-tourism-related-employees. More important, minorities and women are the most favored.
Different nations, one single location
Thanks to the cooperation in between agencies and facilitators like Medical Avenue, the local government has set in place regulations to attract more visitors from a diverse range of countries. Last year the official numbers mentioned that patients came from 188 nations, a number close to the record of 191.
Among the fastest markets, Kazakhstan, Russia and Middle East (all covered by our team at Medical Avenue) are the ones leading the way into South Korea. Currently, Russian speaking patients easily find native translators, medical facilities with written Russian and facilitators helping them inside and outside the hospitals. The system works in order to provide a more comfortable service for them.
In addition to the medical tourism revenue created by medical consultations, surgeries or treatments, medical tourists also contribute to the local retail and luxury items growth. According to Medica Korea, 43% of the medical tourists also come to do shopping or visit touristic destinations around the peninsula.
In the near future (next 5 years), projections tell that South Korea will receive more than 1 million visitors looking for the excellence in medical treatment in areas like cancer, liver transplantation, plastic surgery, IVF and medical screening tests (check ups).
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