Medical tourism to South Korea

Medical tourism to South Korea

| from Booking Health GmbH | Diagnosis & treatment

South Korea is a country with a developed health care system and low cost of medical services. The government of this country creates favorable conditions for the development of medical tourism. The country's leading clinics are interested in foreign patients, therefore, they ensure the best conditions for examination, treatment or...

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South Korea is a country with a developed health care system and low cost of medical services. The government of this country creates favorable conditions for the development of medical tourism. The country's leading clinics are interested in foreign patients, therefore, they ensure the best conditions for examination, treatment or rehabilitation. The latest therapeutic methods are available in Korean hospitals. Even the most complex and rare pathologies are successfully cured here. All this attracts medical tourists. Their number in South Korea is increasing every year. If you need medical care, you can go to this country. Korean specialists will provide you with effective, sparing and safe treatment at an affordable price.


  1. Specificities of medical tourism in South Korea
  2. Achievements of medicine in South Korea
  3. What services are in demand in Korean clinics?
  4. Where can I get assistance?

Specificities of medical tourism in South Korea


The medical tourism industry is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. This is facilitated by the following factors:

  • Growth in business activity
  • Desire of the world's population to improve health
  • Improvement of welfare of the population
  • Increase in the average age of the population
  • Development of medical science and high technology

South Korea ranks sixth in the World Medical Tourism Ranking. This ranking is compiled by the International Healthcare Research Center (IHRC), Medical Tourism Index (MTI) and the Medical Tourism Association (MTA). It ranks countries on several indicators, such as the quality of medical services and equipment, the level of development of medical tourism, and the state of the environment.

Benefits of medical tourism to South Korea:

  • High-tech equipment in hospitals
  • High level of specialists
  • Strict quality control system for medical services
  • Friendly service
  • Relatively low prices – lower than in the USA, Japan and Germany

Patients from developed countries mostly come to South Korea for a treatment. The USA ranks first – every third foreign patient is American. Japan ranks second – every sixth foreign patient is from Japan. About half of all medical tourists to South Korea come from these two countries. The main reason is the low cost of medical services with their similar or even higher quality in some medical fields.

The large number of medical tourists come to South Korea from Russia and China. They are primarily interested in high-tech medical care. During recent years, people from the Persian Gulf countries have shown a strong interest in Korean medicine.



Achievements of medicine in South Korea


The number of foreign patients visiting South Korea is the hundreds of thousands per year, and is constantly increasing. More than 150 thousand patients come to Seoul annually. South Korean medicine attracts medical tourists by the developed healthcare system.

The main advances of medicine in this country:

  • Korea ranks fifth in the world in terms of health care system efficiency.
  • Three dozens of South Korean clinics have JCI accreditation.
  • Korea is among the countries with the most active use of high technology in medicine and robotic surgery. Every major clinic has a robotic surgeon.
  • Advanced digital technologies: films and hard copies have remained in the distant past.
  • Korea ranks among the countries with the largest number of high-tech diagnostic devices per person.
  • South Korea, along with Japan demonstrate the best five-year survival rate in patients with advanced cancer.
  • The survival rate of patients with stomach cancer in South Korea is 2 times higher and the survival rate of patients with liver cancer is 1.5 times higher than in developed countries of North America.
  • The country carries out a huge number of joint replacement surgeries – more than 250 per 100,000 people a year.
  • South Korea ranks first in the world in the efficiency of liver transplantation – over 96% of operations are successful.
  • The country performs the largest number of plastic surgeries per person in the world.
  • Korean doctors get high-quality education and then have internships in Europe and the USA for 7-8 years.

One can receive medical services in South Korea very quickly. The waiting period rarely exceeds 1 week. Such approach distinguishes this country favorably from some European countries, where the patients have to wait several months for a medical program start.


Medical tourism to South Korea


What services are in demand in Korean clinics?


Korea medical tourism is the most developed in the following medical fields:

Plastic surgery. South Korea performs the largest number of cosmetic surgeries per capita, surpassing even the United States in this field. Plastic surgeons in this country have vast experience, as they perform dozens and sometimes hundreds of the same operations or procedures annually. One can undergo here nose reshaping, removal of excess abdominal fat or augmentation of the breasts using new, minimally traumatic methods, without risk for health.

Leading clinics in South Korea, which regularly demonstrate excellent results in plastic surgery are:

  • Hanyang University Medical Center Seoul, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Samsung Medical Center Seoul, Department of Adult and Pediatric Plastic Surgery
  • Asan Medical Center Seoul, Department of Plastic surgery

Dentistry. You can undergo orthodontic treatment, complete or partial, removable or non-removable tooth replacement in South Korea. Prosthetic dentistry is in great demand. Korea is one of the world's leading manufacturers of implants, so the latest models are available here at affordable prices. 3D implant planning allows doctors to avoid errors during this procedure. If necessary, surgical templates made on a 3D printer are used for more accurate placement of implants. They allow doctors to achieve perfect accuracy and virtually eliminate the risk of failure. Korean specialists place implants with minimal invasiveness, up to the complete absence of gingival incisions. Dentists can place any number of implants during one procedure, and the implantation programs are designed for only three days.

Comprehensive diagnostics. The unique check-up preventive diagnostic programs are carried out in Korea. Their uniqueness is connected with the use of modern devices and automated systems, which give a patient the opportunity to undergo diagnostics in 2-3 hours.

Infertility treatment. In South Korea, you can undergo rapid examination and undergo an individual treatment of infertility. If necessary, the operations are performed for the restoration of fertility: laparoscopic fallopian tube recanalization, removal of foci of endometriosis, ovarian cysts, hysteroscopic removal of uterine synechiae or myomatous nodes. In vitro fertilization at the fertility clinics is performed with one of the highest pregnancy rates in the world.

Neurosurgery. South Korea is famous for its high level of spinal surgery. The most complex brain surgeries are carried out in this country. The Departments of Neurosurgery are equipped with neuronavigation systems, state-of-the-art surgical microscopes. Many surgeries are performed under MRI guidance. Minimally invasive interventions are often carried out, namely with the access through the nose, a small opening in the skull or using endovascular method (through blood vessels).

Orthopedics. South Korea ranks among the world leaders in the number of knee and hip replacement surgeries. More than 120,000 such surgical interventions are performed in the country annually. Artificial joints are implanted under the guidance of computer navigation systems, through minimally invasive accesses.

Oncology. South Korea ranks among the countries which ensure the most successful treatment outcomes for advanced types of malignant tumours. This is due to the availability of the latest therapeutic techniques. South Korean Cancer Centres perform cytoreductive surgeries, hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, radionuclide treatments, proton therapy, Gamma Knife, immunotherapy. Some procedures are expensive, but can increase the patient's life expectancy by several years, even in the case of advanced cancers.

Korean clinics use innovative, minimally invasive, safe treatment methods. The patients are provided with high-quality care after operations. If necessary, rehabilitation can be carried out in this country. Given the low prices for medical services, South Korea is undoubtedly one of the best options for people who decide to undergo treatment abroad.

Where can I get assistance?


You can use the services of Booking Health, if you want to undergo medical treatment, examination or plastic surgeries in South Korea. The purpose of our portal is to provide you with the information about the main clinics in different countries, medical programs, prices. With our help you can book the best program at a favourable price.

Specialist of Booking Health will arrange a trip to this destination for you. We provide the following services and benefits:

  • Selection of the clinic, which specializes in the treatment of certain diseases, uses innovative methods and achieves the greatest success
  • Reduced waiting period for a treatment
  • Reduced costs of medical services due to avoiding additional coefficients for foreign patients
  • Direct communication with the doctor
  • Elaboration of a treatment program without repeating previously performed diagnostic tests
  • Buying and forwarding medicines
  • Communication with the clinic after the treatment program completion
  • Organization of additional diagnostics, treatment or rehabilitation

Specialists of Booking Health provide TOP-class services. We will book a hotel and airline tickets for you, meet you at the airport and take you to the clinic by car.


Choose treatment abroad and you will for sure get the best results!

Authors: Dr. Vadim ZhiliukDr. Nadezhda Ivanisova



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