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.
| Medical Care |
|Level 1||Level 2|
|Medical Center||Clinic, Public healthcare center||Hospital, General hospital||Deluxe hospital|
|Treatment Type|| Outpatient treatment, vaccinations,|
| Outpatient treatment, vaccin|
-ations, health management
| Disorder and disease|
|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
|Examination Subject||Major Examination Area|
|Internal medicine|| Treatment with no internal surgery or organ operationTreatment of sickness related to a diges|
-tive 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,|
|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|
|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|
|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
|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