SEOUL, Oct. 2 (Yonhap) -- The number of foreigners visiting South Korea for medical purposes shot up 18 percent last year, government data showed Wednesday.
In a report to the National Assembly, the Korea Health Industry Development Institute said over 378,900 foreign nationals arrived here to visit hospitals last year, up from around 321,500 in 2017.
The institute said that of them, the number of Japanese citizens surged 56 percent to 42,500 in 2018 from just under 27,300 the previous year.
The numbers for Thailand and Indonesia rose a sharp 47 and 37 percent, respectively, while the increase for Uzbekistan was 20 percent. These numbers reflect growing awareness in Southeast and Central Asia of the expert medical services offered in South Korea.
Among all nationalities that got medical treatment here, people from China accounted for a little over 31 percent, or 118,300 people. This was followed by the United States with 45,200, Japan with 42,500 and Russia with 27,100, the health industry agency said.
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