Visit to the doctor's clinic

[singlepic=636,250,250,right]I have a sick child at home. My son has a fever (that started last night) and a sore throat but his sickness didn’t stop him from his desire to watch “Cars.”
Korea has an affordable national health insurance program that is available to all citizens and legal residents. The insurance card looks like the one in the picture. The system is co-payment, meaning in-patient or out-patient pays a percentage of the charges while the NHIC pays for the rest. The insurance system is good for basic health and dental health services (like root canal surgery). It doesn’t cover cosmetic procedures (surprise! surprise!) and Lasik though. One thing that a lot of people are not familiar with is that the operation for removing sweat glands is covered by insurance.
My son and I visited a local pediatric clinic near our home. It was just before lunch and there were lots of kids (vacation time) so it was really noisy inside. We waited for more than a half hour before we saw the doctor. I like the clinic’s equipments, which are specially made for kids. The consultation lasted less than 5 minutes. Clinics in Korea aren’t immune to the “palli-palli” or rush system. ã…‹ã…‹ã…‹ã…‹This is true in almost every doctor’s office that I’ve visited. However, there is one doctor who spends about 20 minutes whenever I go to him for consultation and he always talk to me in English.
We payed 2,000 won (US$2) for the consultation and were given a 3-day prescription. I sometimes don’t get why the doctors would only prescribe for three days because it’s sometimes inconvenient having to go back to there. Anyway, we payed 1,500 won (US$1.50) for the medicines that we got from the pharmacy. We’ll go back to the doctor after three days.
Find more information on Korea’s national health insurance from the NHIC website.


    1. yup, root canal and wisdom tooth surgeries are covered… it’s the crown that you have to pay for (mine’s 250K)… talking from experience

  1. Ha, usually they give you more than you need over here, the average being 10 days. I am surprised it is different there.
    Also, most doctors try to insist on a full checkup, to make sure there is no other, underlying problem. Maybe it is different for little kids.

  2. holy moly, that’s cheap! with insurance, our copay for the primary doctor is $25. medicines are complicated, might be $400+ but copay is $10.. or $50 and copay is $45. you can’t get sick in the US. if you get cancer and your an average guy, your medical bills will plunge you into debt. if you’re old, the likelihood to get cancer is greater, therefore, you must be prepared for your bills to drain their retirement fund. our cancer patients worry what would happen when they’ve exhausted their insurance. treatments we give, we see those patients every 2-3 weeks for at least 6 courses.. if that runs into a year, it’ll cost approximately $1M. That only covers inpatient cases, not all the costs of travel, parking, food and hotels that patient and their families have to pay for when they come to us. And that’s not the end of it… there’ll be more, esp with remission cases. and we’re state hospital, not only funded by the state but millions in grants as well as donations. health care system is screwed up somewhere. not everyone can enjoy the advancement of medical science.

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