Korea is an emerging international hub of medical tourism. Thanks to its skilled medical practitioners with lots of clinical experience, cutting edge medical technology, reasonable prices, prompt and efficient diagnostics, and state of the art information technology (IT)-based medical infrastructure, Korea is becoming a new leader of the global medical market, capable of providing world-class medical care and services.
From 60,000 foreign patients who visited Korea for medical treatment in 2009, the number has increased annually by about 22.7%, reaching 2.26 million from 190 countries. (Cumulative annual number: 6.01 million)
※ Source : Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI). (2019).
Statistics on International Patients in Korea, 2018.
Foreign medical professionals are visiting Korea to learn its leading medical technologies. In 2007–2019, medical staff from 32 countries have completed the Korean Medical Training Program.
※ No. of trainees who completed or are under training programs (2007–2019)
A total of 400 patients from 26 countries are invited as part of our dedication to spreading our philanthropic culture, which is sharing medical services to support treatments.
For major cancer types, there was a decreased mortality rate and an increased survival rate because of advanced medical technologies such as robots.
※ Source: National Cancer Information Center. (2020).
Cancer survival rates (1993–2017).
It has the record of the world’s top success rates of organ transplants, such as liver and kidney transplants from living donors.
※ Source: Center for Korean Network for Organ Sharing (KONOS) Statistical Yearbook. (2018)
More foreign patients are annually visiting Korea for difficult treatments, which includ a living donor liver transplant (Israel), a test-tube baby (United Arab Emirates), spinal disease (United States), reconstructive rhinoplasty (Mongolia), osteosarcoma (Peru), and in vitro fertilization (China).
A Middle Eastern couple, who had been unable to conceive naturally, gave birth to twins through a test-tube baby procedure in Korea.
A Mongolian patient, who had suffered from a congenital closure of nostrils, has been able to breathe by himself after a reconstructive rhinoplasty in Korea.
A Chinese patient, who had difficulty conceiving naturally because of the resection of her fallopian tubes, gave birth to a daughter through in vitro fertilization in Korea.
(Per 1,000 population)
(Per 1,000 population)
(Per 1 million population)
(Per 1 milion population)
※ Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2019). OECD Health Statistics.
High-tech medical technologies and precise health examinations allowed disease prevention and early diagnoses.
※ Source: Kontis, V. et al. (2017). Future life expectancy in 35 industrialized countries: Projections with a Bayesian model ensemble. The Lancet, 389(10076), 1323–1335. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)32381-9
The Ministry of Health and Welfare has started enforcing the registration system in 2009 for institutions serving foreign patients in Korea, making the development of medical malpractice liability insurance mandatory in 2016.
All these measures are made to secure safer and higher quality Korean medical services for foreign patients.
Korea strives to enhance the transparency of its medical services by sentencing illegal brokers up to three years in prison or fining them up to USD 27,000.
A reward of up to USD 9,000 is also offered to those who report unauthorized brokers.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare has enforced the Korean Accreditation Program for Hospitals Serving Foreign Patients (KAHF) to evaluate the quality of medical services (e.g., treatment, infection control)
and nonmedical services (e.g., interpretation and prevention of medical disputes) provided by medical institutions.
※ Source: Korean Accreditation Program For Hospitals Serving Foreign Patients (KAHF). (n.d.).
※ Source: Korea Legislation Research Institute. (n.d.). Accreditation of Medical Institutions pursuant
to Article 58 of the Medical Service Act.
The Medical Korea Information Center provides information and consultation services in five languages (e.g., English, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Arabic) on medical services related to the Korean health care system and medical interpretation.
Tel. No.: +82-1577-7129