Korea’s medical institutions had made 155 advances to 20 countries as of the end of last year, a government report said Wednesday.
The accumulated total represented an increase of 14 cases, or 10 percent, from the 141 in 2015, according to the report released jointly by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and Korea Health Industry Development Institute.
In 2016 alone, they made eight new advances while closing six operations, it said.
Out of the total 155, China took the largest share with 59 cases, followed by the United States with 40 cases and Vietnam (eight). Three new countries – Peru, Bangladesh, and Qatar – were added to the list of countries where Korean medical institutions were operating, pushing up the total to 20.
By the type of medical advance, opening and operating hospitals accounted for the lion’s share with 49 cases, chased by the transfer of medical technology (including information system) with 78 cases, operational consulting with 10 cases and consignment management with eight cases, the report said.
By the department of treatment, cosmetic surgery and dermatology were the most popular treatments with 57 cases in 2016, followed by dentistry with 33 cases and oriental medicine with 22 cases.
"Our excellent medical manpower, technology, and system have not only attracted more foreign patients but also led to the increase in overseas expansion," Vice Minister of Health and Welfare Bang Moon-kyu told reporters. “We will continue to promote the excellence of Korean medical care to the world, and provide various policy supports, including consulting, financing and tax breaks."
The ministry and the institute are pushing for an additional 66 cases of foreign advances, including 31 cases in China and 27 in Southeast Asia, Russia, and Kazakhstan.
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