S.Korea in bid to become leader in medical tourism

| 05/10/2011

(ITTimes): Asia is fast becoming a hot spot for patients traveling overseas for affordable, medical services. As Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and India, work to become medical tourism destinations with special plans and strategies South Korea has boosted its efforts to be among the leaders. With its aim to become a 'Medical Tourism Hub' in Northeast Asia, Jeju, which is well known for its beautiful and clean natural environment, is transforming itself into a medical destination for foreign patients with the establishment of Jeju Healthcare Town.

According to a Ministry of Health and Welfare report, the number of foreign patients visiting Korea has sharply increased. Korea treated 27,480 foreign patients in 2008 and the number more than doubled in 2009 to 60,201. In 2010, 81,789 patients from abroad received medical treatment in South Korea, 36% more than a year earlier. As a result, the country is on the rise in terms of medical tourism.

The project operator, Jeju Free International City Development Center (JDC), has set aside a 1,539,013m² site in Seogwipo to build Jeju Healthcare Town. The planned investment scale of the project, expected to be completed by 2015, is approximately USD 830 million.

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