Korean survey of medical tourists ranks destinations


According to a report in Korea Biomedical Review, the Korean Tourism Organisation (KTO) surveyed visitors from 12 countries that sent a large number of patients to Korea as of 2016, including China, the US, Japan, Russia, Vietnam, Canada, Thailand, Philippines, the UAE, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Mongolia, plus Kuwait. The total number of survey respondents was not published.

The survey found Korea’s recognition as a destination for medical tourism stood at 32.5%, behind the US’s 39% and Germany’s 33.6%.  Showing above-average rate of recognition of Korea as a medical tourism destination were Vietnamese respondents with 62.3%, Chinese (49.3%) and Thais (45.3%).

Other key findings from the survey included:

  • The largest share of foreigners compared Korea with Singapore when considering medical tourism destinations
  • Factors considered in selecting the destination of medical tourism included excellent skills of medical workers (43.2%), up-to-date medical equipment and facilities (33.1%), and the medical institutions’ reliability (32.8%)
  • As to reasons why respondents selected Korea as a medical tourism destination, excellent medical skills ranked highest (48.6%), then service infrastructure (35.8%) and equipment-facilities (34.1%)
  • Visitors from Russia (37.3%), Uzbekistan (37.5%) and Kazakhstan (43.5%) also cited "optimal price level" as a relatively important factor
  • The largest share of respondents (34.6%), used Korean medical institutions for "hospitalisation and beauty care," followed by "hospitalisation-treatment" (29.1%), and "outpatient care-beauty care" (12.8%)
  • Nearly seven out of 10 (69.8%) of foreign patients coming to Korea used general hospitals
  • The level of satisfaction with Korea as a medical tourism destination was 78.8%, lower than Germany (89.7%), Turkey (84.4%) and Singapore (81.1%)



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