Wednesday, November 27, 2013

[Incheon, Korea] Experiencing Korean Medical Services

Visiting a medical centre while on travel may sound like a taboo, and as far as we can - stay far away from it.  But at the same time, I was equally curious how a modern medical centre in Korea would be like.  I had the privilege to visit a medical centre, just to look-see look-see and experienced the process of getting my teeth whitened.

INHA International Medical Centre, located in the international business district near Incheon International Airport, provides medical services catering to international customers.  The medical centre is only 5 minutes away from Incheon International Airport. 

There are 6 departments including the Health Promotion Centre, Dentistry, Korean Medicine, Plastic Surgery, Dermatology and SPA, providing medical services combining western and oriental medicine practices.

The Dentistry department provides cosmetic treatments such as whitening; prosthetic treatments such as inlay or crowning; and periodontal treatments such as implant surgery, scaling, gum laser.  There are a total of 11 treatment rooms at this department.

I have never tried teeth whitening all my life.  The treatment is rather pricey in Singapore (~ SGD800 and above) and I didn't think my teeth needs the treatment badly yet.  Still, I gave it a try.  The entire procedure took nearly 1.5 hours starting with cleaning and scaling. 

After the scaling procedure, the physician assistant (PA) then fix a gadget to stretch the lips and keep the mouth opened.   The PA took a photo of my teeth which was later used for comparison at the end of the treatment. 

The first step in the whitening treatment was to apply some gel between the teeth and the gums.  This was to protect the gums.  This was followed by applying the whitening solution to break down the stains caused by coffee, wine etc.  Next step was the shining of halogen light on the teeth.  At this point, your head and body must keep still for 15 mins for the light to shine directly on the required area only.  After 15 mins, the light is turned off and the hardened whitening solution is removed.  The process is repeated twice.

Another photo was taken at the end.  Guess what - the difference in my teeth colour was not visible and the physician attributed that my teeth was already quite white before the treatment :D  That's quite a piece of good news!

Korea is famous for their art and science of making a person pretty.  The Plastic Surgery department covers nose/eye surgery; body line surgery and petit surgery such as filler and botox injection.  For those who prefer simpler services, the Dermatology department provides skin rejuvenation treatment; scar removal treatment; and trouble care treatment such as acne problems.  There are a total of 12 dermatology rooms in the centre.

The Health Promotion Centre provides medical check-ups, examinations, imaging and vaccinations services.  This programmes range from basic ones to more customised programmes such as muscular-skeletal examination; cardiovascular examination; and woman examination including pap smear and mammography.  There are a total of 32 treatment rooms at the HPC.

The Korean Medicine department focuses on using traditional methods/products such as acupuncture method and ginseng as medicine for facial programme, body programme, fatigue recovery and immune boosting.

Transit passengers can also hop over to the medical centre for a quick SPA service for the face or body.  Swedish / oriental / deep tissue massages are available. There are a total of 6 SPA rooms for individuals and for couple.  Services are available in 30, 60 or 90 mins.  Price for 90-min facial / massage service ranges from 121,000 won to 165,000 won.

The relatively new centres has up-to-date medical equipment and multi-lingual physician assistants to serve the diverse customers.  The programmes are comprehensive and it suitable for those looking for those relaxing treatments in between flights or non-emergency treatments.

INHA IMC is conveniently accessible from Incheon International Airport via its Airport Shuttle Bus at Gate 3 and 12 on 3F Departure Floor of the airport. 

INHA International Medical Centre
84, Gonghang-ro 424 Beon-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon, 400-340, Korea

[This trip is made possible by the Asian On Air programme, organised by the Korean Air and Korea Tourism Organisation].

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