Korean Healthcare at its Finest

by Vivian Ho ,  Medical Tourism Magazine | 2009-12-18

James Bae, Director of International Marketing for Korea’s Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), comments that “In some specialties, we are recognized as top in the world. Even U.S. doctors come to Korea for training in such specialties as living donor liver transplantation and robotic surgery. There is a very short waiting time, and we have a national hospital evaluation program in place similar to JCI. We have two JCI accredited hospitals – one is the largest JCI accredited hospital in the world – and about eight other hospitals are preparing for JCI accreditation in the near term.”

Currently, in terms of comparable metrics, approximately 75 percent of the doctors in Korea are specialists. The level of medical technology available is about 80-90% of that available in the U.S. In terms of clinical outcomes, the five year survival rate is 96% compared to the U.S. And while Korea expects approximately 50,000 - 70,000 patients to come for healthcare services this coming year, 2010; they also acknowledge the upside of competition in the medical tourism landscape. A high-level spokesperson from Korea commented that; “As we know from endeavors in every area, competition has a tendency to raise the bar, as we all reach towards excellence. Competition brings innovation and market relevance and looking at the primary overarching goal of striving to improve quality and ensure patient safety; it assists in achieving all of these objectives.”

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