- Download our Moving to Seoul Guide (PDF)
The standard of healthcare in Seoul is equal to that of most Western cities. Many of the city's hospitals and international clinics have English-speaking staff and high-quality medical services.
South Korea's National Health Insurance programme is a compulsory social insurance system that covers the whole population. Foreigners are required to register for the national scheme if they've lived in the country for six months.
Doctors and specialists will claim most of the costs of a consultation from the NHI, and expats will have to pay only a portion of the cost. Prescription medication and traditional medicine (including acupuncture) are also covered, and will, therefore, also incur small costs.
Pharmacies in Seoul are plentiful and easy to find throughout the city. While 24-hour pharmacies are rare, there are many pharmacies that are open from 7am to 11pm. Unlike many Western countries that use the medical cross symbol, Korean pharmacies, called yak-guk, are usually indicated by the yak symbol (약) prominently displayed at the shopfront.
Apart from Western-style hospitals, there is also a wide range of Eastern medicine hospitals that cater to those who wish to relieve their symptoms through more holistic practices. Many of the universities in Seoul have hospitals attached, and there are several private clinics as well.
Below are some of the most reputable hospitals in Seoul.
Hospitals in Seoul
Asan Medical Center
Address: 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu
Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine
Address: 536, Gangnam-daero, Gangnam-gu
The Catholic University of Korea Seoul St Mary’s Hospital
Address: 222 Banpo-Daero, Seocho-gu
Samsung Medical Center
Address: 81 Irwon-Ro, Gangnam-gu
Seoul National University Hospital
Address: 101, Daehak-Ro, Jongno-gu
Address: 50-1, Yonsei-Ro, Seodaemun-gu
►For more about the Korean healthcare system, read Healthcare in South Korea
"Despite the language barrier, the healthcare system in Korea is perhaps one of the most developed in the world! And most of the big hospitals have foreign services, which means someone who speaks English can accompany you to see the doctor. In our experience, most doctors could speak English, so it wasn't a problem. Did you know Samsung is not only making phones, TV or A/C, by the way? Don't be surprised if you see the Samsung Hospital! One of our favourite hospitals in Seoul, actually."
Read French and Hong Kong expat Guillaume and Hammer's interview to learn more about living in Seoul.
Are you an expat living in Seoul?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Seoul. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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