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S. Korea attracting more and more foreign patients with quality medical services, hospitality Updated: 2019-09-21 09:18:11 KST

Eight year old Ali from the United Arab Emirates, is learning how to use his legs for the first time in South Korea.
Born with infantile paralysis, Ali hasn't been able to walk due to severe muscle weakness in his legs.
But now, after three operations at this hospital in Seongnam, he has started rehabilitation therapy.
Ali is one of the growing number of foreigners visiting Korea for medical treatment.

"We heard about the high quality of medical care in Korea. We're very happy with the successful operations and also how the hospital's services tend to our needs here like a family away from home."

According to the health ministry, the number of international patients has grown roughly 22 percent every year over the past decade, from around 60,000 in 2009 to more than 380-thousand last year.
The patients came from 190 countries, with the most visitors coming from China, followed by the U.S., Japan and Russia.
A survey in 2018 found Korea was the world's third most popular medical tourism destination behind the U.S. and Germany due to its advanced medical skills, equipment, and services.

"We don't simply examine the conspicuous symptoms the patients come with. We do a full check-up before the diagnosis, which helps identify related or hidden conditions. After treatment, we advise them on after-care and answer all their questions. Even after they return to their home countries, we call to check that they're making progress.

International medical centers offer specialised services, such as airport pick-ups and interpretation, as well as accommodation and customised options for every budget, on top of the medical care itself.

Seongnam City, after Seoul, is the country's second largest medical attraction for foreign visitors.
Last year, the number of foreign inpatients grew 105 percent on-year, topping 10,000.

"Going beyond our medical gadgets, treatments and rehabilitation, we dream of setting a global example by expanding our capacity to address long-term stays, tourism, education food for patients as well as medical exchanges with other countries."

"To showcase its diverse medical services and state-of-the-art devices, the city is holding a three-day convention -- expected to attract some 20-thousand visitors.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News, Seongnam."
Reporter : osy@arirang.com
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