Going by the slogan 'To the doctor for diagnosis and to the pharmacist for medicine,' medical prescription and dispensing are carried out separately in Korea. A prescription from the doctor must be obtained to purchase prescription drugs at the pharmacist. Over-the-counter medicines (digestive medicine, pain killers, supplements etc.) may be bought at a pharmacist or convenience store without a prescription.

Types of Medical Centers

Medical centers may be classified based on the scale, order of use, service content, and scope. Minor ailments such as the flu and indigestion may be treated at a clinic. If an illness persists and requires a thorough examination, the patient may have to go to a hospital, general hospital, or deluxe hospital.

City and Regional Offices Of Education

Type, Waste that must not be included in food waste 로 구성된 표

Medical Care
Benefit Level
Level 1 Level 2
Medical Center Clinic, Public healthcare center Hospital, General hospital Deluxe hospital
Treatment Type Outpatient treatment, vaccinations,
health management
Outpatient treatment, vaccin
-ations, health management
Disorder and disease
treatment care,
Health Management Public healthcare center, Oriental
medicine, Internal medicine,
Pediatrics, Family medicine, Health
examination center, etc.
General hospital with multiple departments, etc. University hospital

To use an deluxe hospital, submit the doctor's referral note in the preliminary examination to get health insurance benefits. Treatments subject to health insurance benefits with no referral note are for emergency patients, delivery, dental treatment, rehabilitation, family medicine, and hemophilia.

Examination Areas and Subjects

Hospital or Clinic
City and Regional Offices Of Education

Type, Waste that must not be included in food waste 로 구성된 표

Examination Subject Major Examination Area
Internal medicine Treatment with no internal surgery or organ operationTreatment of sickness related to a
digestive organ disease, lung cancer, cardiac disorder, blood vessel, blood pressure,
diabetes, etc.
Pediatric Department Treatment of sickness of children and youths younger than 18 Treatment of children's
kidneys, nerve system, respiratory system, allergy, etc.
Obstetrics and
Treatment of sickness related to pregnancy, childbirth, and female genitalia
Neurology Treatment of sickness related to the nerve system such as stroke, epilepsy, dementia,
neuralgia, etc.
Psychiatry Treatment of sickness related to psychiatric symptoms
Family Medicine Comprehensive medical service including continued examination for disease prevention
and treatment for families
Dermatology Treatment of skin trouble such as pimples, hair loss, hives, etc.
General Surgery Treatment of sickness that requires surgery such as appendicitis, infection, digestive system
disorder, etc.
Orthopedics Surgery and non-operative treatment of bones and muscles
Plastic Surgery Treatment related to body shape and functional improvement such as double eyelid
surgery, skin treatment, aftermath treatment, etc.
Rehabilitation Rehabilitation specialists and physical therapists treat sickness related to muscles, bones,
and neural system.
Urology Treatment of sickness related to urinary organs such as kidney and bladder as well as sexual
organs such as penis and testicle
Ophthalmology Treatment of sickness related to eyes and optic nerves such as cataract, glaucoma, myopic
correction, etc.
Otorhinolaryngology Treatment of sickness related to ears, nose, throat, etc.
Dentistry Braces, dental prosthesis, tooth cleaning, tooth nerve treatment, etc.
Emergency Medicine Prompt diagnosis and treatment of emergency patients
Oriental Medical Hospital or Clinic
City and Regional Offices Of Education

Type, Waste that must not be included in food waste 로 구성된 표

Examination Subject Major Examination Area
Oriental internal medicine, oriental gynecology, oriental
pediatric department and 8 medical subjects
Oriental medicines treat all types of diseases.
Medicines and treatment methods that are not offered
in ordinary hospitals.

Procedures to Use Medical Centers

Step 1: Use of a Medical Center

Submit your health insurance card or an identification card at the reception desk and then wait. → When your name is called, go into the examining room and talk to the doctor about your symptoms. → Consult with the doctor and ask questions. → Pay the examination fees and receive the prescription. → Go to a pharmacy near the hospital and give the prescription to the pharmacist to prepare after which you can purchase.

Step 2: Other Reminders for Medical Center Users

Receive a referral note from the medical center that you visited in the first step. → Submit your health insurance card and the referral note from the medical center that you received in the first step. → Visit the department and take the medical examination and treatment. → Receive the prescription and make a reservation for a return visit if necessary. → Pay the examination fees at the reception desk.

Take note in case of an emergency!

Remember the telephone numbers below in case of an emergency or a sudden accident.

  • Emergency Helpline ☎ 119

    After identification of your location, an ambulance will be sent out to take you to the hospital for free. If medical attention is required during public holidays or late at night, you will be sent to the emergency department of a general hospital.

  • Health and Welfare Call Center ☎ 129 (Mobile phones: area code + 129)
  • Emergency Care Information Center ☎ 1339
Source: "Be an Incheoner" - Guidebook for Foreign Residents in Incheon