Medical System in Korea

Various medical institutions in Korea including private hospitals, general hospitals, oriental hospitals and public health centers provide high quality medical services through medical specialists and cutting-edge medical equipment. Highly advanced medical fields in Korea include ophthalmology, spine surgery, dentistry, plastic surgery, heart surgery and infertility treatment. With the rapidly increasing number of foreigners visiting or residing in Korea, more medical facilities have opened international clinics and have endeavored to provide medical services that best meet foreigners’ medical needs and global standards. Korean medical facilities are categorized into three types by the number of medical departments and the size of the medical facilities. To use thirdtier hospitals, a patient needs a referral letter from a first or second-tier medical facility. If the patient goes directly to a third-tier hospital without a referral letter, he/she cannot receive medical insurance coverage and will have to pay the high medical costs. Foreigners can use medical services from international clinics in third-tier hospitals directly; however, it is more costly.

First-tier medical facilities

These types of facilities include private hospitals and public health centers. First-tier medical facilities have a limited number of medical departments and provide a comprehensivemedical service for treating and preventing early symptoms of diseases.

Second-tier medical facilities

Second-tier medical facilities have medical specialists and more than 4 medical departments and provide medical services for both inpatients and outpatients. In general, these types of facilities have 30 to 500 beds. Emergency treatment is available

Third-tier medical facilities

General hospitals or hospitals belonging to medical schools are categorized as third-tier medical facilities. These types of facilities have medical specialists in all different medical departments, more than 500 hospital beds and offer specialized medical services for emergencies.