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Ministry launches center for Middle Eastern patients

Ministry launches center for Middle Eastern patients

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Published : 2013-12-16 19:51
Updated : 2013-12-16 19:51

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said Monday that it has established a support center for patients and doctors coming from Middle Eastern countries for intensive medical treatment and training.

The Global Healthcare Center for Middle East, located in Itaewon, central Seoul, will perform online coordination of medical services between patients from the region and Korean hospitals. The center will also provide a wide range of consulting services, helping with visa issuances, traffic information, accommodation and tour programs for foreign patients and doctors on fellowship courses, officials said.

The center is a part of the government’s efforts to promote Korean medical services to Middle Eastern countries.

In September, the Korean and Saudi Arabian governments agreed to train Saudi physicians in Korean hospitals starting next year. Meanwhile, the Health Ministry, in cooperation with its counterpart in the United Arab Emirates, has been promoting the country’s medical services to patients suffering from serious conditions such as cancer and cardio-cerebrovascular diseases, since 2012.

Interest in Korea’s medical services has been growing, particularly among UAE doctors, said Ali Obaid Al Ali, director of the International Patient Care Division of the UAE Health Authority. But there have been minor problems reported by UAE patients, involving such things as communication and food, the director said.

The center will play a central role in satisfying patients’ needs as well as strengthening healthcare cooperation between the two countries, Korean officials said.

The number of patients from the UAE grew from 273 in 2012 to 382 as of November this year. The number of patients is expected to jump to 1,400 next year, they added.

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)

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