Health care in Korea rates anywhere from average to excellent. Small hospitals can be found literally on every block, though unless you have nothing more serious than a cold, it is advisable to take the time to see a doctor at a larger hospital. Most Korean doctors have been educated in a western country so communication is usually not a problem. A doctor at a smaller hospital may not be able to converse with you about normal everyday things, but he certainly will know all the medical terms for any information he knows from you or needs to tell you. Doctors at larger hospitals in Korea are generally of better training, experience and English language ability. Larger hospitals are located in every major population center, with the highest number in Seoul itself. Larger hospitals cost considerably more for visits and tests, but the quality of doctors and treatment is definitely worth it. Visit our Korean Hospital/Clinic Links page for a list of healthcare providers throughout Korea.
As with doctors, many dentists have been educated in western countries and can usually speak enough English to get through an appointment easily. Dentist offices are abundant throughout Korea, but, as anywhere, the quality of patient care differs greatly from office to office. It is always best to get a referral from another foreigner who has been here for some time. Visit our Korean Dentists links page for a list of English-speaking Dentists in Seoul.
Pharmacies of all sizes can be found on almost any street corner in Korea. Korean pharmacies are fully stocked with all types of prescription drugs, though pharmacies near hospitals tend will carry more specialized medicines. Medication for anything more serious than a cold will require a prescription. Prices are incredibly cheap compared to western countries, and most medication is covered by health insurance.
Practitioners of Oriental Medicine
As one would expect, Korea is abundant with practitioners of traditional oriental medicine. Treatments include acupuncture, herbal prescriptions, massage and body energy therapies. The costs are covered by health insurance and are quite cheap. Appointments are not necessary, and just as back home, it is always a good idea to get a referral from a friend before trying any particular doctor or clinic.