Medical Tourism Conference to Open

by Kim Rahn ,  korea times | 2008-11-11

Healthcare service providers and medical travel facilitators will gather in Seoul next week for an international meeting on medical tourism.

The 2008 International Medical Travel Conference (IMTC) will kick off at COEX InterContinental Hotel in southern Seoul for the three-day run Nov. 19-21.

It is the first time for Korea to open the annual event, which was previously held in Singapore in 2006 and the Philippines last year.

Hosted by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and Korea Health Industry Development Institute, the conference is held as part of the government's effort to make Korea a hub country in the medical tourism business.

Some 300 people in medical and tourism industries will take part in the conference, which is accompanied by exhibitions, workshop, business meetings and hospital inspections.

Dozens of hospitals, organizations and local authorities will promote themselves to attract foreign medical tourists. They include the Council for Korea Medicine Overseas Promotion, Busan City, Severance Hospital, Cheongshim International Medical Center and Jeju Free International City Development Center.

On the first day, medical tourism experts will offer pre-conference workshops, giving advice to those planning to enter the medical travel business.

Participants will also have a chance to experience Korea's healthcare infrastructure and facilities through visits to medical centers in Seoul, Daegu, Busan and Jeju.

"The workshop and conference will provide delegates with an educational platform while the exclusive networking sessions will enable them to establish ties and clinch business deals,'' a KTO official said.

"Korea is set to be the next medical travel hub, with world-class healthcare infrastructure, skillful doctors and diversity of its healthcare treatment ranging from Oriental to alternative medicine,'' the official said.

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