2020 Seongnam International Medical Tourism Convention SMC) event will be held online from Nov. 9 to 12. AVING News met Seongnam Mayor Eun Su-mi on Oct 15 to conduct an interview on the medical tourism industry.
Q. What is the background of the growth of the medical tourism industry in Seongnam-si?
A. Since 2013, our city enacted the
ordinance to vitalize medical tourism and started the business in full
force. Our city has 1,650 medical centers including university hospitals,
general hospitals, and specialist clinics, and 14,500 medical personnel with excellent
medical technology. As the city began the medical tourism business, it has
grown steadily, and now, it is reaping the fruit produced by constant efforts
in opening overseas PR centers (Taiwan, Vietnam, Mongolia, etc.), expanding
foreign patient support policies, and holding the first convention of a basic
local government. This year, we were not able to carry out direct local
marketing activities due to COVID-19, we plan to continue strengthening our
capabilities and support to vitalize the medical tourism industry in
Q. Please tell us about any plans to vitalize the medical tourism industry in Seongnam-si.
A. Our city is actively promoting a high-quality medical tourism model focusing on severe diseases through cooperation with medical institutions and companies to attract in our district, and we are promoting new markets to expand overseas network. In 2020, it was selected as the "regional specialized medical technology and regional attraction-based capacity building project" by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. We are carrying out promotion and marketing, specialized medical technology development, and competency enhancement projects for practitioners to vitalize the medical tourism industry. Through the medical tourism industry, we are going to strengthen cooperation in related industries such as medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology. In Seongnam, there are many companies such as medical device manufacturers and AI in the high-tech valley and Pangyo Technovalley, as well as the nation's top-level hospital and clinic infrastructure.
Q. What makes Seongnam International Medical Tourism Convention different this year from last year?
A. Currently, international events are being canceled or changed due to COVID-19. 2020 Seongnam International Medical Tourism Convention was also scheduled to be held for the first time offline, but due to the worldwide spread of COVID-19, it has been switched to a non-face-to-face online event. The offline exhibition space was used as an online promotion hall, and in-person business meetings were conducted non-face-to-face by introducing the online video conferencing system. An international conference specializing in medical tourism and healthcare for related industry practitioners was also held through the website and YouTube. The existing citizen experience event will be held to promote contents for citizens with health lectures and live lectures invited by communication experts.
Q. What are your plans to promote Seongnam-si through this convention?
A. Seongnam-si has 1,600 medical centers
including university hospitals, general hospitals, and specialist clinics, and
14,500 medical personnel, boasting the medical infrastructure comparable to
anywhere in the country. Seongnam is also the city that has healthcare
companies in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and quarantine,
and Pangyo Technovalley known as Korea's Silicon Valley, the cutting-edge
innovation cluster centered on 1,200 IT, BT, CT, NT and convergence
technologies. Through this convention, we are planning to promote Seongnam's
excellent medical industry as well as its history, culture, and high-tech
industries around the world.
Q. Please tell us what you would like to say to domestic and foreign companies and general citizens participating in this convention.
A. Through this convention, we ask for
active cooperation from industry officials so that Seongnam-si's medical
tourism industry can be widely promoted abroad and take a leap forward. I hope
many people log on and get diverse information that are helpful for the health.
Finally, I hope that the COVID pandemic ends as soon as possible so that we can
return to peaceful daily lives again, and I and 3,000 public officials will do
our best to protect the safety of the related industries and citizens.
2020 Seongnam International Medical Tourism Convention (SMC) event will be held online from November 9 to 12. This event was first held by the national local government agencies in 2018 to globalize the medical tourism and healthcare industry in Seongnam-si. This year, considering the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will be held in the official website of the Seongnam International Medical Tourism Convention (www.simtc.org) and YouTube, instead of meeting with officials in the medical, tourism, bio, healthcare industry, overseas buyers, and visitors in person.