South Korea


Country: South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, has approximately 50 million residents. The capital and largest city is Seoul. Korean is the official language.

How to access emergency services: Call 119 for ambulance service.

Currency: South Korean won (WON)

Recommended immunizations and vaccines for travelers: Before traveling to the South Korea, ask your doctor what vaccines are recommended. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are excellent resources as well.

Insurance: Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.

It’s also worth ensuring your travel insurance will cover ambulances or transport either home or to more advanced medical facilities, if needed. Not all insurance covers emergency medical evacuation home or to a hospital in a major city, which may be the only way to receive medical attention in a serious emergency.

Source: International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers

What to expect in a South Korean hospital: High-quality health care is available in South Korea in general hospitals, oriental hospitals (which use traditional eastern medical practices), public health centers, and private hospitals. The Seoul Metropolitan City Government runs the Seoul Global Centre, which operates a 24-hour a day medical referral service for foreigners. The staff has medical training and they speak English; they can provide advice on medical facilities and services.

Seoul Global Centre
At: 3rd Floor, Korea Press Centre, 1 Ga, Taepyung Ro, Jung Gu, Seoul
Tel: 010 4769 8212 / 010 8750 8212

Most doctors and hospitals expect payment in cash, regardless of whether you have travel health insurance. Your insurance company may be able to provide assistance and locate the nearest source of medical help; otherwise ask at your hotel or lodging.

Contact your embassy/consulate: When in doubt, your country’s embassy is a good resource to turn to for medical assistance guidance.

JCI-accredited hospitals/clinics in South Korea: To read about specific facilities that are JCI- accredited,visit the Hospital Search section.

South Korea-specific helpful health resources:

Travel health notices: Visit the CDC or the WHO for up-to-date travel notices.

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