Jeju, South Korea's biggest island, is transforming into a medical destination for foreign patients who are looking for world-class treatments as well as tourism attractions. Jeju, which is well known for its beautiful and clean natural environment, has begun its plan to construct Jeju Healthcare Town.
Since medical tourism is now moving into full swing in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Singapore and India, Jeju Free Int'l City Development Center (JDC) is establishing Jeju Healthcare Town at a very opportune time. Jeju Healthcare Town is a residential-themed town based on a blend of the natural unspoiled beauty of Jeju Island with the finest health care services available in East Asia.
There are three positive factors posting Jeju Healthcare Town successfully positioned. First of all, geographically, Jeju Island is located off the south coast of South Korea, between China and Japan. Eighteen cities with populations of more than 5 million are within 2 hours' flight away of Jeju Island. This geographic advantage will attract overseas patients who want to take advantage of tourism as well as medical treatment. Second, Jeju offers an unspoiled natural environment that other competitive medical destinations do not have. Jeju Island is traditionally well-known as a tourism destination with its beautiful landscape and clean environment. Therefore, medical tourists, together with their friends and family members, can enjoy Jeju while they receive medical treatment. Last but not least, Korea offers state-of-the-art technology in medical treatment including surgery, diagnostics and cancers. The high level of Korean hospitals' technology is already well-known among Asian countries.
Jeju Healthcare Town consists of three facilities; Wellness Park, Medical Park and R&D Park. The local government set aside a site of 1.48 million square meters in Seogwipo to build the healthcare complex, where JDC is expected to invest approximately US$614 million.
The name Seogwipo comes from a story about Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of China. Qin Shi Huang asked Xu Fu (also called Seobok), his court alchemist, to find a special elixir plant. Xu Fu visited Jeju and found the elixir plant on Mt. Halla. When Xu Fu left Jeju with the plant, he carved "Xu Fu Visited Jeju Island" on a rock. The name Seogwipo was given to the city based on this story. Qin Shi Huang, who was well-known for being ageless, recognized Jeju as the home of special elixir plants. Jeju believes this story will attract more Chinese visitors who are looking for medical treatment.
According to the Korea Tourism Organization, the number of visitors to Korea for medical treatment has increased significantly. It aims to attract 850,000 overseas patients by 2015. The efforts of Jeju and other cities in Korea are showing signs of success in the medical tourism, meaning that Korea has the potential to become a hub for it.
KPR & Associates Inc.
Chihyun Choe (+82-2-3406-2240 / +82-10-3013-7989 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ah-Ree Kim (+82-2-3406-2237 / +82-10-9383-8966 / email@example.com)
Jeju Free International City Development Center (JDC) is a special corporation that promotes Jeju Free International City development projects under the Korean government’s Special Act on Jeju Free International City. It pursues establishment of a global city on Jeju Island, focused on tourism, education, shopping, healthcare and medical treatment. Jeju is located at the center of Northeast Asia and has well-developed infrastructure including an international airport and sea ports.