Mongolians visit Korean hospitals to receive training

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Mongolians visit Korean hospitals to receive training


The Korean medical wave has reached the medical authorities in Mongolia. So far, the country’s doctors have been visiting Korea on a small scale to learn from Korean doctors in hospitals such as Seoul National University Hospital and Saint Mary’s Hospital - but the two countries have decided to scale up the project to a national level.

According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Samsung Medical Center signed a million-dollar pact with the Mongolian Health Ministry yesterday to allow a total of 68 Mongolian doctors to receive training at Samsung Medical Center from April this year in five rounds until June next year. The Mongolian Health Ministry will pay $1 million for the training program in Korea, according to the Korean health ministry.

The 68 medical doctors from Mongolia will receive training in 11 fields including clinical immunology, medical imaging technology, pediatric endoscopy, pediatric kidney laparoscopy, pediatric rehabilitation, pediatric ophthalmology, pediatric surgery, pediatric nursing, pediatric cardiothoracic surgery and psychiatry. The program will be conducted in English, with interpreters.

“Korea was able to strengthen its medical industry through the Minnesota Project with the U.S. after the Korean War. Now through this agreement Mongolia will be able to strengthen its medical industry by learning from Korea,” said Chung Ho-won, an official from the Health Ministry.

In the 1950s, Korean medical doctors had an opportunity to learn advanced medical techniques from the U.S. through the “Minnesota Project,” in which 226 professors from Seoul National University Hospital received training at the University of Minnesota while 59 medical experts from the U.S. stayed in Korea as advisors.

Mongolian patients visiting Korea to receive medical treatment have been increasing, and Korean medical facilities have also been entering into Mongolia. In 2009, 850 patients from Mongolia visited Korea to receive medical treatment and the number has more than doubled within a year. According to the health ministry, 1,860 patients visited from Mongolia in 2010.

As for medical facilities, Yonsei Friendship Hospital was the first Korean hospital to be established in Mongolia in 1989, followed by Songdo Hospital in 2007, Seoul Medical Science Institute in 2003 and Hyundae General Hospital in 2011.

In August last year, health ministries from two countries signed a memorandum of understanding to work closely together to upgrade health conditions in Mongolia, noticing a high demand for Korean medical technology there. The agreement, in particular, focused on Korea helping Mongolia to improve facilities associated with mothers’ and children health.

The health ministry explained that this pact signed by Seoul Medical Center and the Mongolian health ministry will be carried out along with the so-called Seoul Project in Central Asia.

By Yim Seung-hye [sharon@joongang.co.kr]

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