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Everything You Need to Know About Ulsan

Coming to a City Near You! Medical Tourists!

Korea Sparkling? Not so much. Dynamic Korea? Meh

With all the efforts over the years from the Korean government to boost tourism, none of which have amounted to an augmented breast in size, it’s no wonder Seoul is pursuing another avenue to bring tourists to the Land of Kimchi: Medical Tourism.

Be prepared for scads of homely men, women and even children to descend upon Korea searching for scalpels, sutures and sponges in pursuit of the perfect face or figure. AFP reports that the Seoul Government intends to launch an initiative to gain Korea’s share of the global medical tourism market.   Promoters of the plan say that cosmetic surgery costs are 30% of American and 60% of Japanese costs. With Korea’s existing successes liver transplants and cancer treatment, it is uniquely poised to expand their already enormous market.

Plastic surgery is already tremendously popular among Koreans.  With double eyelid surgery going for about 800K won, thousands of Koreans have gone under the knife. Eyelid surgery, designed to make the eyes more western in appearance, has even become popular among parents as a gift to children graduating from high school.

One need only glance at a Korean television to see just how pervasive the trend is. Neither is is difficult to find which actors or actresses have undertalken to have their faces rearranged. A simple google reveals a treasure trove of before-and-after pictures of the Korean pop-idols, actors, actresses and other celebrities. Check out these before/after shots from Korea Insider.  Or have a gander at  these pics from Gossip Rocks – the inset images are slow to load but are plentiful.

Vice Knowledge Economy Minister (a 3-dollar title if ever there was one) Kim Young-Hak says that “Today demand for medical services is higher than ever and medical tourism is growing rapidly,”

Somewhat less than 350,000 people visited Singapore for treatment in 2007, according to official figures, while South Korea would show some 50,000 foreigners had visited for treatment in 2009 compared to 27,400 a year before. “Our medical tourism is growing fast. We can easily catch up with Singapore and other Asian countries,” Korea Global Healthcare Association chief Park In-Chool told AFP