LIFE&STYLE

Online medical tourism portal opens for tourists

By Lee Woo-young
  • Published : Sept 30, 2014 - 20:06
  • Updated : Sept 30, 2014 - 20:06

An online website offering medical tour packages and information on Korean hospitals and clinics opened on Wednesday.

The website “Visit Medical Korea,” launched by the Korea Tourism Organization, invites foreign tourists to browse medical tourism packages and services provided by Korean clinics and hospitals.

It focuses on medical centers specializing in cosmetic procedures and surgeries, skin care, health check-ups and traditional Korean medicine ― popular treatments sought by foreign tourists. The site also introduces medical institutions specializing in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, and cutting-edge fields such as stem cell treatment.

The site also serves as an online platform for Korean hospitals and clinics to post information on the medical services and treatments they offer as well as doctors’ profiles.

For now, the site has limited information on medical services and links to travel information, with a few blanks in information categories. Basic information such as treatments, physicians and location is not yet available for some clinics.

“The launch of the website is just beginning. It will evolve quickly with more participation from Korean medical establishments and related agencies. We are now working on offering medical information in various languages including Mongolian and Arabic,” said Kim Sae-man, director of the KTO’s medical tourism department. The website is currently available in English, Chinese and Japanese.

The site offers one-on-one online consultation with each hospital and clinic featured on the site and information on tourist attractions close to medical centers.

It also features tour packages by medical tour agencies, which include treatments, accommodation and guided tours of popular tourist destinations.

The website is part of the Korean government’s plan to make medical tourism a new driver of the Korean tourism industry. It set the goal of attracting 250,000 foreign patients and posting 450 billion won ($422 million) in revenue this year.

To celebrate the opening, the website is offering 20 to 50 percent discounts on medical treatments and tour packages. Participating medical centers are offering huge discounts or free services for a select number of foreign visitors.

For more information, visit www.visitmedicalkorea.com.

By Lee Woo-young (wylee@heraldcorp.com)