The U.S. could learn a thing or two from Korea’s healthcare system…
23 of us instructors walked into a medical center to take our health exams and each of us were finished within forty minutes or less.

Rather than waiting well past our appointment time before finally being called back by a nurse practitioner to take our stats, and waiting again before even seeing our doctor…this office had stations where one by one, we all went through (assembly line style) and had our height & weight measured, blood pressure and even x-ray taken, dental checked, hearing, vision, drug and blood tested by different nurses and technicians. Then at the end we had a private one-on-one with our doctor. And while the process was speedy, we all agreed, we didn’t feel at all rushed or like a number.

The staff were all very friendly and thorough. They were happy to, and could answer any question you had because of course, they all spoke English. I really admire how quick and efficient the process was and how professional the nurses were.

There is a slight lack of privacy that exists that I think some Americans would not be willing to compromise for the service, at least before they realize how worthwhile the trade off is.

The fast pace nature of the appointment is possible because the patients aren’t seen privately in an office with just a couple rooms. The set up is more like a spa. You’re shown to a locker room where you change into your “gown” which are more like scrubs (there isn’t that open back, showing your bum) then you come back out to wait in the common room until a nurse calls you to the first station. After you finish one test in either a semi-private or private room, you wait again back in the common area until the next test. This is really quick, I never sat down for more than just a minute or two. The semi-private areas are the height and weight station and the blood pressure station, where if someone else cared enough, they might be able to see your stats. The only thing I really rose my eyebrow to, was having to walk out with my urine sample in a test tube, from the restroom back to the common area and to the nurses’ desk. But I am super hydrated so I handed it over with pride. The nurse placed it on a small rack, displaying the whole spectrum of yellow in little hued tubes.

Oh yeah, the whole thing cost us about 12 bucks.

One Comment

  1. susangreeneye

    Excellent! Healthcare is a tricky thing because there are so many different facets to it. It gets expensive and/or inefficient very quickly. I’m glad to heard that Korea is doing it right :)


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