Medical tourism the next big thing?

by Kim Eun-ha ,  JoongAng Daily | 2009-04-28

TOKYO - You've heard of eco-tourism and adventure tourism.

Next up in the travel world: medical tourism.

A group of Korean doctors, dermatologists, ophthalmologists, plastic surgeons and others visited Tokyo last week to promote the idea of vacations centered around tummy tucks, corrective eye surgery and other medical procedures.

The visit came ahead of Japan's golden week, the country's longest national holiday of the year.

"If you come to Korea, dermatologists will provide treatment and medical counseling in Japanese," Ahn Gun-young, president of Gowoon Sesang Clinic, told around 30 Japanese tour agency workers during the visit. "With advanced and safe dermatology laser treatments, you will become more beautiful while spending less money than you pay for the same treatment in Japan."

The medical professionals handed out brochures containing descriptions of the methods and costs of various medical treatments, including details of the cutting-edge facilities at Korean hospitals.

In a bid to attract potential foreign customers who are seeking medical travel to Korea, doctors from six hospitals including Gowoon Sesang Clinic, BalgeunSeSang Eye Clinic, Real Cosmetic Clinic and Ye Dental Clinic gave presentations about their medical tourism programs.

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