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Destination Spotlight

Guide to Choosing Korea for Medical Travel

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The growing interest in Korea’s high-quality medical services has increased the number of foreign patients travelling to Korea for medical tourism. However, many things must be considered when preparing for medical travel to Korea. Many international patients who have not travelled to Korea today may not know how to navigate the robust medical tourism offerings available in the country without a guide. Medical tourism facilitators can help medical tourists access the information they need to make an informed decision.

Are the visa issuance processes and reservation services more convenient through a medical tourism facilitator?

Medical tourism facilitators are private companies that provide customized services needed by patients. They offer pre-information about medical staff, hospital reservations, medical treatments, vehicles, and translation services. Most companies have networks with major hospitals and databases of renowned doctors. The biggest advantage is that they can recommend the most suitable hospital for patients based on such a data pool, or connect patients with the desired hospital or doctor. Additionally, they assist with all schedules in Korea, including escorting from the airport, tours, and shopping.


Where can I find a list of reliable medical centers and medical tourism facilitators?

To find information on reputable medical centers and medical tourism facilitators, you can visit the Medical Tourism Business Center operated by the Korea Tourism Organization. This center provides lists of hospitals renowned for their medical expertise and quality services, as well as accredited medical tourism facilitators known for their excellent service to foreign patients. These lists are available on the Korea Medical Tourism website. Additionally, by contacting the Medical Tourism Business Center, you can receive hospital recommendations based on your specific medical needs and health status.


What are the benefits of using a medical tourism facilitator designated by the Ministry of Justice of Korea?

The Ministry of Justice of Korea annually designates outstanding medical tourism facilitators based on various qualifications, including the number of foreign medical tourists attracted. Patients using a designated outstanding medical tourism facilitator can qualify for applying for a medical visa (e-visa) and waive the submission of an affidavit of financial support. Benefits also include the use of exclusive airport security checkpoints, fast track immigration clearance, and other various conveniences. It is trustworthy as many foreigners have chosen the service and visited. However, remember that the validity of the designation is one year, so it is advisable to inquire in advance via email or phone with the Korea Medical Tourism Business Center.

Can I visit a hospital in Korea without a visa?

Korea offers a Visa Waiver Program with many countries. The length of avisa-free stay varies based on the foreigner’s nationality and can range from as short as 15 days to as long as 180 days. While some medical tourists enter Korea without a visa for hospital visits, issues arise if unexpected illnesses lead to prolonged hospitalization. Securing a long-term treatment visa can be challenging, even with the help of a medical tourism facilitator. It is advisable to prepare thoroughly in your home country before planning a hospital visit in Korea


What are the various programs available for patients and their guardian?

While the patient is receiving treatment, the guardian has to wait. Spending time idly can be tedious and difficult for anyone. If you are in Korea, it is beneficial to take some time for a health check-up or to visit a traditional Korean medical center for simple treatments. Health check-up programs are popular among both patients and guardians for their reasonable prices and high efficiency. All tests can be completed within half a day, and you can also receive a doctor’s opinion. Treatments at traditional Korean medical centers can be a mix of curiosity and fear of the unknown. Diagnosing body conditions by pulse checking, treating with acupuncture and moxibustion, or prescribing herbal medicine wrapped in paper, can be intriguing. Although treating serious illnesses takes time, it is possible to assess one’s constitution and prescribe herbal medicines to enhance health conditions. Customized diet plans with traditional Korean medicine are also popular in Korea.

Why should I choose a hotel near the hospital rather than focusing on the hotel’s grade?

Accommodation is a crucial factor when staying in a foreign country. In Korea, it is advisable to select a hotel close to the hospital. This choice is beneficial not only for reducing travel time to the hospital but also to ensure the patient can rest comfortably. Additionally, if the patient suddenly becomes ill, being near the hospital allows for a more composed and immediate response.

About Korea Tourism Organization (KTO)

Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) is an organization of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST). It is commissioned to promote the country's tourism industry. The KTO was established in 1962 as a government-invested corporation responsible for the South Korean tourism industry according to the International Tourism Corporation Act.  The organization promotes Korea as a tourist destination to attract foreign tourists. Starting in the 1980s, domestic tourism promotion also became a function of the KTO. Inbound visitors totaled over 17 million in 2019 (17,502,756 visitors) and the tourism industry is one of the greatest contributors to the Korean economy.

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Disclaimer: The content provided in Medical Tourism Magazine ( is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. We do not endorse or recommend any specific healthcare providers, facilities, treatments, or procedures mentioned in our articles. The views and opinions expressed by authors, contributors, or advertisers within the magazine are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of our company. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, We make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, regarding the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability of the information contained in Medical Tourism Magazine ( or the linked websites. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. We strongly advise readers to conduct their own research and consult with healthcare professionals before making any decisions related to medical tourism, healthcare providers, or medical procedures.
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