Korea seeks closer cooperation with Kuwait in healthcare

Korean healthcare is highly advanced and the hospitals are fully equipped to receive patients from all over the world, revealed Korean Vice Minister of Health and Welfare Kwon Deok-cheol in an exclusive interview to The Times, Kuwait.

Vice-minister Deok-cheol pointed out that Korean medical industry boasts of more than 120,000 doctors, including 80,000 specialists and excellent clinical staff with skills in the treatment of cancer, and in transplantation processes such as that of heart, pancreas and in the case of major cancers such as colon cancer and stomach.

He added that all hospitals have translators and the staff are equipped to handle hosting patients and their families from around the world while maintaining their traditions, customs and privacy as well.

Elaborating, he said that the healthcare sector attracted patients from all over the world because of its specialized medical treatments and pointed out that about 7,000 patients from the Middle East visit Korea every year seeking treatment in traditional Korean medicine that are natural and without surgery.

He pointed out that several people come to Korea to have cosmetic procedures done, particularly to get treatment for burns, many of them from Kuwait as well, while IVF was another area that was popular, he noted.

Vice Minister Deok-cheol said that Korea has seen a rise in the number of patients it receives because of the quality and value of the treatment. He said the number of cancer patients visiting Korea reached 90,000 last year.

Korea’s medical tourism is growing immensely, he said, adding that the trend is very positive as Korea offers not only high-class treatment using the latest technology but also qualified doctors and good value in comparison to Western nations.

The vice minister noted that several memorandums were signed with Kuwait during the recent visit of the Korean Prime Minister, including in strengthening cooperation in the field of health between the two countries in various areas, from building hospitals to the exchange of information and experiences, as well as enhancing cooperation in medical tourism and hospital management.

Pointing to the newly opened Jahra Hospital, Vice Minister Deok-cheol highlighted that the operation of the hospital would be simplified and smoother with Korean technology. “Kuwaitis will benefit from the new technology, he added, “as it will fulfill the development criteria as part of the Vision Kuwait 2035.”

The proposal is awaiting ratification from the Kuwait National Assembly after which the Korean management will facilitate advanced health care treatment to patients based on Korean information technology, which will cut down waiting periods and make the process of managing medicines and clinical information smoother.

Regarding the number of Kuwaitis visiting Korea for treatment, he pointed out that around 240 Kuwaitis visited Korea for treatment of chronic diseases and ailments out of the total of 380,00 patients who received treatment for various illnesses including cancer and transplant last year.

In conclusion, he said Korea and Kuwait enjoy excellent relations and are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the establishment of relations between Kuwait and South Korea.

Speaking on the country and its growing positive potential, he said, “Korea is a beautiful country with wonderful and great attractions for all patients and their companions. I would advise all of our Kuwaiti friends to visit Korea to learn about the traditions, history and the extent of development that has been reached in the country.”

–Staff Report