According to local media outlet Korea Biomedical Review (KBR), Seoul is cracking down on unregistered hospitals trying to lure in foreign patients, making it illegal for unregistered hospitals to offer medical advice and referral services – nor should they try and communicate with foreign patients (whether by app, phone, email or another source) over treatments, health or disease counselling.
KBR notes that unregistered medical institutions providing consultations and reservation information by operating a foreign SNS account is also illegal. Just posting a phone number could cause a legal problem, KBR writes, and violators will be sentenced to up to three years in prison or face a maximum fine of 30 million won (US$26,500).
The guidelines on online advertisements for attracting foreign patients was released by the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) on 30 March, according to KBR.
Should this information be accurate, it means that the standard of treatment for foreign patients visiting the region – whether for emergency of elective care – is likely to improve, thanks to tougher regulations.