BUSAN, South Korea – In 2013, the City of Busan conducted a survey of 298 Busan-based medical institutions to examine the amount foreign patients coming to the city for medical treatments. According to the results, the number of foreign patients in 2013 increased by 54% over the previous year for a total of 21,798. The results are largely attributed to the city’s new policies to attract foreign patients which were put into place in 2009.
Results are broken down by country and medical institute. Russia accounted for the largest amount of those coming for treatments at 45.4% (86% increase year over year) followed by 2,696 from China (57.2% increase), 1,589 from Japan, 1,270 from the United States, 905 from the Philippines (35% increase) and 787 from Vietnam (87% increase). Of note are the large increases of patients coming from Southeast Asia.
In 2013, among Busan-based medical institutes, Dong-A University Hospital attracted the highest number of foreign patients at 9,894. Inpatient and outpatient numbers also increased steadily at an even pace of 54% and 55%, respectively. The increase of inpatients indicates a rise in the amount of those seeking intensive care for cancer, cardiovascular, spine and joint related procedures.
The City of Busan plans to grow the city into one of the three most popular medical tourism destinations in Asia by establishing a medical tourism cluster by 2020.
Source: Busan City News