Nip-tuck doctors from Korea go to work in Vietnam

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Nip-tuck doctors from Korea go to work in Vietnam

Korea is known for high-speed Internet, cutting-edge electronic gadgets, K-pop and “Gangnam Style.”

Now another Asian country has recognized one of its other modern skills - making ordinary people beautiful through cosmetic surgery - and is allowing Korean doctors to fly in to do surgeries on its own people.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said yesterday that its counterpart in Vietnam is allowing eight Korean plastic surgeons to practice in the Southeast Asian country permanently. Governments rarely allow doctors to practice who haven’t passed local medical qualification exams.

The eight doctors recognized by Hanoi are all plastic surgeons at the JK Plastic Surgery Center in Gangnam District, southern Seoul.

“Foreign countries normally raise entry barriers when it comes to foreign doctors to protect their own health care industry,” said Joo Kwon, head of the JK Plastic Surgery Center.

The Korea Health Industry Development Institute said its branch in Singapore lobbied Vietnam intensively to teach them about Korea’s high level of medical expertise.

“It is difficult to get expanded recognition of Korean medical licenses by other countries when Korea itself does not recognize foreign medical licenses,” said Ko Kyung-hwa, the institute’s president. “It is the networks we have formed with the private medical sector in Southeast Asia as well as a thorough analysis of the medical industry conditions in each country that led to this breakthrough.”

Once the eight Korean doctors practice in Vietnam for five years, their medical licenses will be recognized by 10 other Southeast Asian nations thanks to an integration of medical industries in the region, which is slated to be completed by 2015, according to the state-run institute.

Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia are among the countries being integrated.

“Doctors who work in Vietnam for five years or longer will win recognition by other Southeast Asian nations, establishing a bridgehead for Korea to expand its medical industry into the Southeast Asian market,” said Jang Kyung-won, director general of the institute’s office in Singapore.


By Kang Jin-kyu [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

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