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S Korea to introduce visa for medical tourists

The South Korean government is introducing a new category of visa for tourists who visit the country with medical purposes, local media reported Monday.


The foreign medical tourist visa, M, is adopted in a bid to boost the nation\'s medical tourism industry as local hospitals and medical institutes have strongly requested the government to simplify the visa issuance process, South Korea\'s Korea Times reported.


According to the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs, the new visa will be issued from Monday in two forms, C3 (M), a 90-day visa for those with short-term treatment purposes, and G1 (M), a one-year visa for those who need long-term care, the Korea Times said.


The South Korean government, starting this month, plans to allow local hospitals and medical institutes to engage in marketing promotions to attract foreign patients, so as to support the industry.


(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2009)