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Increased medical travellers to Korea in 2021

The Korean government has increased the figure for medical tourists in 2021 from a provisional estimate of 130,000, to 146,000. The government data shows that the number of medical travellers visiting Korea expanded 25% between 2020 and 2021, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

The data shows medical tourists came from 191 countries in 2021, with the USA accounting for the largest proportion, followed by China, Vietnam, Mongolia, and Thailand.

Patients from the US and China accounted for 39% of the total medical tourists, those from Vietnam, 7.4%, and Mongolia, 6.3%.

The number of foreign patients visiting Korea increased for most countries last year compared to 2020. However, the number of Chinese and Japanese patients dropped in 2021.

By department, 48,000 patients (26.4%) sought care in integrated internal medicine, 10.1%, health checks, 9.2% cosmetic plastic surgery, and 6.6%, dermatology.

Integrated internal medicine includes general…

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