Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Markets In Everything: Medical Tourism in S. Korea

SINGAPORE: South Korea revised its law two months ago to allow hospitals to directly seek foreign patients. And this has reaped results, going by the latest statistics. In May, the number of foreigners who visited South Korea for medical treatment jumped by about 40% to 1,061, compared to a year ago. South Korea is the latest country to jump on the medical tourism bandwagon. Under the new law, hospitals can go all out to attract foreign patients, such as paying commissions to agents for referrals. The country has also eased visa regulations for overseas patients.

The global medical tourism sector is expected to grow by 15 to 20% every year. Asia's medical tourism market is worth over $5 billion and will attract over 6 million patients by 2012. South Korea plans to tap on this potential by marketing its accessibility and low cost. Brian Suh, researcher of Global Healthcare Business Centre, Korea Health Industry Development Institute, said: "Korea has good medical skills and easy accessibility, and there's no waiting time."


At 7/08/2009 3:43 AM, Blogger OA said...

I have my dental work done in Asia, and have had porcelain veneers done there. It costs so much less that twice I asked them to check if they were charging me for everything.

I have noticed that most other patients are Australians and Europeans who have free coverage at home. Yet they're paying their own money to get treatment.

At 7/08/2009 4:57 AM, Blogger 1 said...

There's obviously enough of a market in medical tourism that there is a magazine that caters specifically to it: Medical Tourism Magazine...

How good the info is I can't say but this was an interesting article: Medical Tourism Economic Report: Latin America versus Asia

At 7/08/2009 8:17 AM, Blogger Colin said...

Would be nice if hospitals here in the US advertised their prices so we could comparison shop as these people do abroad. As long as Medicare and private insurance play such a central role, however, this is unlikely to occur.

At 7/08/2009 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as soon as the U.S. adopts socialized health care, the best doctors will set up shop in Dubai, or some other business friendly locale, and cater to those who can afford their services.

Soon, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama will be medical tourists, while the schmucks who supported them will be waiting on line.

At 7/08/2009 4:11 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

I have my dental work done in Asia, and have had porcelain veneers done there. It costs so much less that twice I asked them to check if they were charging me for everything.

My dental work is completely of US/State University degreed work, with no Asian content. The only foreign content was a bit of German-sourced Herculite.

I trust that a lot more than I'd trust some cut-rate FTA country work. That is, if it's going to last 30 years, I have no reason not to trust in it lasting 30 years. That, and I don't have to worry if they're going to fry me w/ an old Therac, or worry about the privacy of my medical records.

For the record, I'd rather see the less ethical practices of insurance meet an untimely end. Pass that instead of what's supposed to be pushed through Congress.

7/08/2009 9:38 AM

That slave labor country?

At 7/09/2009 12:36 AM, Anonymous zaki said...

salam kenal

At 7/09/2009 8:58 AM, Blogger Hamster said...

For the past 4 years my wife and I (in our 60's, self employed with only basic health insurance) been saving up all our medical and dental problems and making the journey to a Thai hospital where the care is excellent and the cost...just a fraction of what I would have to pay out of pocket in the US. For example, last November I had an Endoscopic balloon dilation for a condition known as dysphagia. The specialist in the US said the operation would cost me $2500. (His bill for the 15 minute consultation was $250.) I decided to wait until I got to Thailand and had it done in at Chulalongkorn public hospital...cost $100 including biopsy. (all I needed for ID was my US passport. No questions asked!!)
7 months later I am happy to report that I am doing fine.

I highly recommend any American who can't afford US medical care to look into going overseas. Countries like Thailand, India and Singapore are gearing up to provide top notch medical care at a fraction of the cost in the US


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