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North Chungcheong Province to Attract More Medical Tourists from Five Countries Including China and Mongolia

According to Yonhap News,

(CHEONGJU=Yonhap News) North Chungcheong Province goes all out to attract medical tourists from overseas.

According to the province on Jan. 30, it has decided to run promotion centers to attract medical tourists in 5 locations, including Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Almaty, Kazakhstan, Zhengzhou, China, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Yakutsk, Russia.

Of the KRW 111mn needed to install the centers, KRW 78mn will be paid by the province, while the participating hospitals will cover the remaining KRW 33mn.

Last year, the province had opened 3 promotion centers in Mongolia, Uzbekistan (Tashkent), and China (Changsa). The center in Mongolia succeeded in raising the number of medical tourists from 90 to over 200, leading to the decision to maintain the center in its original location.

However, the other two locations, which did not yield visible results, were closed down. Instead, promotion centers will open at 4 new locations, selected for showing promise at local information sessions held last year by the province and medical centers. The first year the province gained interest in medical tourism was 2013. At the time, the province formed a new foreign medical team to be exclusively in charge of medical tourism, and opened its first promotion center in China the following year.

As a result, the number of medical tourists rose from 816 in 2013 to 2,333 in 2014, and later to 2,714 in 2015. It is estimated that over 3,000 medical tourists visited the province last year.

This year, the province plans to attract over 3,500 medical tourists.

As of 2015, the medical field that treated the greatest number of tourists was health exams (691), followed by internal medicine (468), plastic surgery (298), ob/gyn (241), orthopedics (185), and dental care (71).

The reason the province is focusing on attracting medical tourists is the fact that it produces more added value than ordinary tourism.

According to the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), one medical tourist spends KRW 610,000 on medical expenses, but considering additional costs for accommodation, food and sightseeing, one person is thought to spend over KRW 3mn during their stay.

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Source Text

Source: Yonhap News (Jan. 30, 2017)

** This article was translated from the Korean.