We may think of hospitals just as somewhere we go when we are sick, but have you ever heard of Medical Tourism? When you travel abroad, it is essential that you get travel insurance in case of medical emergencies. However, some people travel abroad seeking healthcare at specific hospitals and clinics.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, for instance, is renowned for its quality. As such, cancer patients have travelled from all over the world just to receive treatment there. Of course, every first world country has hospitals with fantastic healthcare, and Korea is no exception.
If you are travelling in South Korea or living as an expat, you’ll want to know ahead of time where you should go when you’re sick. And so, in this article, I will introduce you to the top 5 best hospitals for foreigners in Korea.
ASAN Medical Center, Seoul
Formerly known as Seoul Jungang Hospital, ASAN Medical Center was opened in 1989. The center includes 1600 doctors, 3100 nurses as well as 67 operating rooms. As such, the center specialises in several complex fields, such as cancer, heart disease and organ transplantation.
What’s more, due to the growth in Medical Tourism, ASAN features a state of the art foreign language service, including sophisticated care and consultation in English, Chinese, Russian and Arabic etc.
Address: 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul Operating Hours: 8:30am - 5:30pm weekdays, closed weekends Website: eng.amc.seoul.kr
Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul
Seoul National University (SNU) is the best — and most competitive — university in Korea. Naturally, the SNU hospital is among the best too. The hospital is very popular with Koreans for its large variety of treatment options and cheap price.
Furthermore, as an educational institution, the SNU hospital offers prestigious training programs for domestic and international healthcare professionals. For foreigners, their international healthcare center is extremely easy to use.
Address: 101 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul Operating Hours: 9:00am - 5:30pm weekdays, - 1:00pm Saturday; closed Sunday Website: snuh.org
Samsung Medical Center, Seoul and South Gyeongsang
You might be noticing a trend here, in that the best healthcare facilities are found in Korea’s capital, Seoul. However, leading companies have launched hospitals and clinics all over the country, starting from their base in Seoul.
Samsung is a tech giant known far and wide, most famous overseas for electronics such as phones, TVs and computers. However, in Korea, Samsung produces just about everything from electronics to cars and — you guessed it — hospitals.
The Samsung Medical Center encompasses 3 separate hospitals: Samsung Seoul, Samsung Kangbuk and Samsung Changwon. Furthermore, it even has its own dedicated research institute, Samsung Life Sciences Research Center.
While the Seoul and Kangbuk hospitals are located within Seoul, in Gangnam-gu and Jongo-gu respectively, Changwon is located in South Gyeongsang Province. Each branch follows the Samsung Medical Center’s motto of “patient-centred care”, a relatively new concept in Korea. Of course, “patient-centred care” means excellent service for foreigners too, so you don’t need to worry about language barriers here. What’s more, the recovery stats are incredible.
Samsung Seoul Hospital Address: 81 Irwon-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Operating Hours: 8:00am - 5:00pm weekdays, - 12:00pm saturday, closed sunday Website: samsunghospital.com Samsung Kangbuk Hospital Address: 29 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul Operating Hours: 8:00am - 5:00pm weekdays, closed weekends Website: kbsmceng.kbsmc.co.kr Samsung Changwon Hospital Address: 158 Palyong-ro, Masanhoiwon-gu, Changwon-si, Gyeongsangnam-do (South Gyeongsang) Operating Hours: 8:30am - 5:30pm weekdays, - 12:30pm saturday, closed sunday Website: smc.skku.edu
Severance Hospital, Seoul
Attached to another prestigious university, Severance Hospital can be found on the Yonsei University campus in Seoul. Founded in 1885 by the American ambassador to Korea, Horace Newton Allen, Severance is known as Korea’s first modern hospital.
It was initially named Gwanghyewon (“house of extended grace”) then Chejungwon (“house of universal helpfulness”) before receiving its 3rd and withstanding title. In 1904, it was renamed Severance hospital after American missionary, Louis Severance donated a huge sum of money.
It is part of the Yonsei University Health System (YUHS), the undeniable leader in domestic medicine. Treating 2.5 million patients per year, Severance hospital is one of the largest in Korea too. They even have 8 robots on-site!
Address: 50-1 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul Operating Hours: Open 24 hours Website: sev.severance.healthcare
Seoul National University Hospital, Seongnam
The SNU Bundang Hospital, located in Seongnam City, is another outstanding hospital with the unique benefit of natural surroundings. While many Koreans travel to Seoul from all over the country to benefit from its healthcare, the SNU Bundang Hospital is more easily accessible.
The SNU Bundang hospital includes geriatric, cardiovascular, clinical neuroscience, respiratory, joint disease and health promotion departments. Additionally, the joint disease centre includes joint reconstruction! Amazing, right?
The SNU Medical group has even opened medical centres overseas in the Middle East and USA, showing their commitment to international healthcare. When you come here, you can rest easy knowing you’re in good hands with very hi-tech facilities.
Address: 82 Gumi-ro 173beon-gil, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do Operating Hours: 8:30am - 5:30pm weekdays, closed weekends Website: snubh.org
Note: listed operating hours are for outpatient services only. If you are in a medical emergency in South Korea at anytime, dial 119 or go straight to your nearest emergency room, which includes any of the medical centres listed above.