UAE Health Officials to Visit South Korea to Discuss Strengthening Ties in Healthcare Sector

By Korea Health Industry Development Institute, PRNE
Monday, July 4, 2011

SEOUL, South Korea, July 5, 2011 -

Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare announced that groups of
working-level representatives from the Ministry of Health UAE and
Health Authority-Abu Dhabi visited South Korea from June 26 to 30
in order to strengthen ties in the healthcare sector after the MOU
signing in March 2011.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MoHW), Korea is trying to
put greater efforts into strengthening international cooperation in
the global healthcare service industry as part of “Medical Korea”
campaign. In particular, the Ministry is striving to build various
channels to attract foreign patients when it comes to the field of
global healthcare service. The Ministry believes that the following
countries are the ones to be strategically targeted in order for
South Korea to become the hub of medical tourism in Northeast Asia.
They are: the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Uzbekistan,
Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Mongolia, Russia, and Vietnam.

The United Arab Emirates is a major client nation for the
world’s medical services industry as citizens of the UAE are
reported to spend more than two billion dollar annually on getting
medical services abroad, which is equivalent to approximately one
hundred thousand dollars per patient (Gulf News, 14 July 2010).

Against this backdrop, the South Korean government, represented
by the MoHW, signed an MOU with the Ministry of Health UAE, Health
Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and Dubai Health Administration during
the ministerial visit of Seoul’s Health Minister to the Middle East
in March.

According to some officials at the MoHW, they expect the MOU to
provide a more specific and practical frame for bilateral
cooperation in the healthcare sector. It was the first time for
Seoul to have such an agreement signed that will help attract more
foreign patients to South Korea, while assisting South Korean
hospitals to make inroads into countries in the Middle East.

As part of the agreement reached in March, a group of
working-level representatives from the Ministry of Health UAE and
the HAAD visited South Korea to experience South Korean healthcare
service (in hospitals and medical centers). They were scheduled to
meet with their counterparts in the MoHW to have a talk in detail
about ways to solidify the cooperation, including a subject on
travel arrangements for patients going to South Korea as well as
specific issues such as patients in need of BMT (Bone Marrow
Transplantation), liver-kidney transplant and pediatric cardiac
surgery. The group also had a tour of topnotch South Korean
hospitals that have specialized facilities in treating patients
suffering from critical illnesses or incurable diseases.

The group, led by Ali Obeid Ali, who is in charge of hospital
licensing and administering outbound patients at the HAAD, was
enthusiastic about learning of the excellence of South
medical service from the perspective of South Korean
hospitals’ management capabilities and some of the national
policies relating to health, including a licensing procedure for
medical personnel and hospitals in South Korea.

The MoHW believes that this visit by healthcare officials from
the Middle East will be a pivotal point to foster domestic
healthcare industry, one of the nation’s key strategic industries
that encompasses the global market.

At Korea Health Industry Development Institute, Zach Lee, goompd at, +82-538-0612

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