Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Korean doctors charging "foreigner fees"?

Stolen from here.

Some are, according to posters on Dave's.
When i got there i completed a form which informed me i would have to pay 30,000w for the first consultation and 20,000w for any appointments that may follow. Fortunately as a respectable citizen i pay my medical insurance and had my book/card with me. I explained this to the receptionist. Another receptionist explained that it was an extra charge for foreigners. I explained that i had my medical insurance book and would not be willing to pay this extra fee. They said i should explain this to the doctor.
When i got to see the doctor i explained the situation and he said he would waive the fee. He then asked me a couple of questions and said i should return two times a week. I replied that i would not be willing to pay extra fees due to the fact that i am foreign. He asked me to leave.

. . .
Same thing happened to me in Suwon. I went to an English speaking doctor to get a prescription. They charged me 20,000 won. They told me it was a foreigner fee even though I had my insurance card. The next time I went to another doctor who spoke only basic English and he charged me only 3000 won.

. . .
I just called [ed: the place in the OP] and asked if they charge extra for foreigners. The woman on the other line kind of stuttered her way through an answer, but didn't say yes or no.

I encourage more of you to do the same.

This guy is using his ability to fleece customers. It's total BS.

Needless to say, don't fall for that trick, and take your business elsewhere. Get the name of any place that tries this and pass it along so other foreigners know to avoid it.

As a requisite disclaimer, I have to point out that I've been generally satisfied with the service I've received at hospitals and clinics, especially at Suncheon's 제일병원, so this isn't me letting a few bad apples spoil the bunch. And this service has come without the ninety-minute wait you can expect when you visit my general practitioner back home.


ambearo said...

I hope it's okay but I posted a link to this article on a Facebook group for ESL Teachers in Korea. I really enjoy your blog. ^^

Brian said...

Sure, no problem.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder whether foreigner fees are that unreasonable. I don't mean as charged by everyone, but I mean for the specialized, foreign-trained foreign doctors who provide thorough and accurate check-ups. For the general aches and pains people will just go to a Korean clinic or hospital, and people who can get around in Korean will have no problems here. But, I wonder if it's that outrageous to charge a small fee if you're one of the handful of doctors in a country who can help English speakers.