Trade Show - Korea Medical Tourism Convention

Korea Medical Tourism Convention aims to attract more Middle East patients to world class medical facilities in South Korea

Reports show South Korea hosted 296,889 medical tourists from over 190 countries in 2015

Korea National Tourism Organization, the state-run tourism organization, in cooperation with the Financial News, a leading South Korean newspaper company, organized the Korea Medical Tourism Convention in November in Abu Dhabi. The medical tourism convention aimed to attract Middle East patients to Korea for advanced treatment.

The opening ceremony was attended by H.H Sheikh Mohammad Bin Khalifa Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, H.E Abdullah Al Nueimi, the ambassador of UAE to South Korea, H.E Park Kang Ho, the ambassador of South Korea to UAE, and a number of important officials from the two countries. The event gathered 28 Korean health establishments, government departments and medical agencies. The exhibitors promoted attractive medical and travel combination packages for patients wishing to seek medical treatment in world-class healthcare facilities in South Korea. The slogan for the event was ‘Care by Heart, Visit Medical Korea!’

The convention proved to be timely and strategic as more patients from the Middle East region have expressed a preference in seeking medical treatments in South Korea. In fact, the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) Annual Report 2015 reveals that a total of 6,101 patients from the region visited South Korea in 2015, which reflects an 11.2% increase from the previous year. Of the 6,101 patients, 2,946 came from the UAE, 1,215 from Saudi Arabia and 411 from Egypt. The strong relationship between the UAE and South Korea is attributed to the signing of previous Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) to further cooperative ties, especially in the field of health care.

“The event played a significant role in raising more awareness on the many benefits and advantages to be gained by patients wanting to visit South Korea for medical purposes,” said Kyoo Sang Kang, the regional director of Korea National Tourism Organization Dubai office. “The convention served as a strategic vehicle that helped in giving a better understanding of Korean oriental medicine, treatments andour diverse range of medical facilities – giving them enough information before they decide on coming to visit South Korea.” According to the Korea National Tourism Organization, South Korea hosted 296,889 medical tourists from over 190 countries in 2015, reflecting an increase of 11.4% from the 266,501 patients in 2014 and the 211,218 patients in 2013. The growth complements the plan of receiving one million international patients by the end of 2020.

Korea offers a blend of high-quality care with high-tech procedures at prices far less than its counterparts in Europe, Japan and the United States. The country has become one of the leaders in organ transplants and cancer treatments throughout the world due to its superior procedures in curing severe conditions such as brain disease, cardiac disorders and cancer. Korea is also ranked the highest for five-year survival rates of cancer treatment patients over Canada, Japan and the US. The health industry in Korea also surpasses the US in terms of successful liver transplants – achieving a 92% success rate compared to 85% in the US.

At the convention leading medical professionals from the UAE and South Korea discussed topics related to the field of medicine and tourism. Five Korean medical experts representing leading hospitals in Korea gave presentations on common diseases and case studies from their Middle East patients.

The convention offered free consultations, business meetings and key medical seminars from participating hospitals. Some of the leading Korean establishments that participated at the event include Samsung Medical Center, Asan Medical Center, Wooridul Spine Hospital, Seoul National University Hospital and Jaseng Hospital of Korean Traditional Medicine.

Date of upload: 20th Jan 2017

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