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Medical Institutions

01 Types of Medical Institutions

Medical institutes are classified according to size, usage sequence, service content, and range. For lessserious diseases such as colds, and digestive trouble, aid recipients must go to a smaller clinic to gettreatment. If illness persists or a more thorough medical checkup is needed, recipients may then go toa general hospital to get treatment.

Types of Medical Institutions
Stages of medical
care benefits
Corresponding medical care institutesGeneral practitioners’ offices, public health centersClinics, general hospitalsHigh-level general hospitals
Medical treatmentOutpatient medical treatment, vaccinations, health managementPhysical examination, hospitalizationIntensive examination, medical treatment for disorder or disease, health management
Medical institutionsPublic health centers, oriental medicine clinics, internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, health checkup centersGeneral hospitals with specialized departmentsUniversity hospital, etc.
  • To get treatment at a high-level general hospital using medical insurance benefits, patients mustsubmit a referral from a 1st level treatment institute (i.e. local clinic). Medical insurance benefits athigh-level general hospitals may only be received without a letter of referral in cases of emergency,childbirth, dental treatment, rehabilitation/therapy, family medicine, and hemophiliac treatments.
  • There is a large number of oriental medicine clinics in Korea. These clinics provide a range of medicalservices including acupuncture, moxa cautery, and herbal medicine.

02 Major Services and Major Diseases

Hospital or clinic
Major Services and Major Diseases
Internal MedicineTreatment (not including surgery) for internal diseases
Treatment of digestive disease (throat, stomach, etc.), lung cancer, and diseases related to the heart,blood vessels, blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
PediatricsCare and treatment of infants and children under 18: Care of premature babies, treatment ofchildren’s diseases, allergies and others
Obstetrics & GynecologyPregnancy and childbirth, and the treatment of disorders affecting the female reproductive system
Medical Division for Mental HealthTreatment of mental illnesses and disorders
NeurologyTreatment of diseases related to the nervous system such as stroke, epilepsy, dementia, neuralgia, etc.
Family MedicineComprehensive healthcare provided to people regardless of age or gender, placing particularemphasis on the family unit
DermatologyTreatment of diseases related to the skin such as acne, hair loss, rashes, etc.
General SurgeryTreatment of diseases requiring operations such as appendicitis, infections, or severe digestive disorders
Orthopedic SurgeryTreatment of disorders of the skeletal system and associated muscles by manual and instrumental means
Plastic SurgeryEyelid reshaping and burn treatment to improve the shape and function of the body
Rehabilitation MedicineTreatment of diseases related to muscle, bone, and nervous systems by rehab specialist doctorsalong with physical therapists
UrologyTreatment of disorders of the urinary tract including the kidneys and bladder, and reproductiveorgans such as the penis and the testicles
OphthalmologyTreatment of diseases related to the eyes and optical nerves such as cataracts, glaucoma, andcorrective operations for myopia
OtorhinolaryngologyTreatment for diseases related to the ears, nose, and throat
DentistryTreatment for tooth decay and cavities including teeth straightening, dental prosthesis, and scaling
Emergency MedicineDiagnosis and treatment of emergency patients
Acupuncture and herbal clinics, or oriental medical clinics
Acupuncture and herbal clinics, or oriental medical clinics
Departments of internal medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, etc.
(8 subjects with oriental treatments)
Treatments including acupuncture, herbal medicines and other medical practicesthat originated in Asia

03 How to Use Medical Services

(1) How to Use Primary Medical Institutions

  • Present your health insurance card at the front desk and wait to be called

  • When your name is called, explain your symptoms to the doctor

  • Ask the doctor any questions you have regarding his or her instructions

  • After the examination by the doctor, pay the bill and receive your prescription

  • Visit a pharmacy near the hospital, show the prescription and buy medicine

(2) How to Use Secondary Medical Institutions

  • Get a referral from a doctor at a primary medical institution

  • Go to the secondary medical institution at your appointment time (be sure to arrive slightly early) andsubmit the referral from the primary medical institution

  • Proceed to the designated department for medical treatment

  • Receive your prescription; make an appointment for follow-up treatment, if necessary

  • Pay your medical bill at the counter before you leave

04 Coping with Emergency Situations

  • Emergency medicine and painkillers for colds and flu may be useful if you keep them at home.
  • If you call ☎119, an ambulance will come and take you to the nearest hospital. You will be treatedin the emergency room. If you need to be hospitalized for surgery or medical examination, you willhave to wait to be assigned a hospital room.
  • Once a room is assigned, you must follow hospitalization procedures.
Useful Information
Take your health insurance card and identification card.
  • Call ☎119 in an emergency situation
  • Health and Welfare Call Center ☎129 (when using a mobile phone, dial area code + 129)

05 Pharmacies and Medical Supplies

Medical supplies include prescribed medicines that require a prescription from a doctor and over-thecounter medicines that can be purchased at pharmacies without a prescription. There are varioustypes of over-the-counter medicines such as cold pills, digestive medicines, antipyretic pills, analgesicpills, ointments for injury, and antidiarrheal agents.
Insecticides, sanitary pads, health supplementary drinks, condoms, etc., can be purchased at retailstores such as convenience stores, as well as drug stores. Thirteen products among antipyretic andanalgesic pills, cold medicine, digestive medicines, and pain relief patches can be purchased at 24-hour convenience stores to be used in an emergency or to treat minor symptoms.

Useful Information
First-Aid Medicine

Basic first-aid medicines should be kept at home in order to treat common sicknesses and injuries.Many of these medicines are available at convenience stores, but it is still a good idea to keep a wellstocked first aid kit at home for emergency situations. This is particularly important for people wholive far away from a hospital. Basic first aid kits should include the following:

  • Anti-febrile: Reduces fever
  • Pain-killer: Soothes or eliminates pain
  • Digestive: Aids digestion
  • Antidiarrheal drug: Treats diarrhea
  • Eye drops: Relieves fatigue and pain of eyes
  • Antiseptic: Inhibits the growth and reproduction of disease-causing bacteria
  • Vaseline: Relives burns
  • Ointment: Relieves itching
  • Pain relief liquids: Treats insect bites or itchiness
  • Patch: Applied directly to the skin for muscle pain
  • Antibiotic adhesive band: Applied on cuts to prevent infection
  • Additional items: Box of gauze, absorbent cotton, scissors, thermometer, sterilized bandage and plasters
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