Himchan Hospital said it has become the first local private medical institution to open up a branch in Bukhara, Uzbekistan. The Bukhara Himchan Hospital’s opening was thanks to exchange and cooperation accumulated between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and Uzbekistan's Ministry of Health, it added.
|Bukhara Himchan Hospital in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.|
Korea and Uzbekistan have been expanding cooperation by building trust between the two countries based on the Health and Medical Cooperation Agreement signed in August 2011.
For example, the Korea-Uzbek Health and Medical Cooperation Center opened after President Moon Jae-in visited Uzbekistan in April this year. Lee Dong-wook, former director of the Population Policy Division at the ministry, is serving as the center's director. Lee also is working as the vice minister of the Uzbekistan Ministry of Health.
During President Moon's visit, Moon and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev promised to share the meaning of healthcare cooperation through Bukhara Himchan Hospital and jointly support the smooth opening of the hospital. Since then, the Uzbekistan government has been actively supporting the opening of hospitals by providing tax cuts and shortening the approval process.
"The Bukhara Himchan Hospital, which started service with the overwhelming support from the two countries, is the first medical institution opened by a privately funded medical institution in Central Asia, including Uzbekistan," the ministry said. "We expect that the Himchan Hospital case will serve as an excellent case that can help Korea's excellent medical service to enter Central Asia further."
The opening of Bukhara Himchan Hospital comes after Himchan Hospital made an agreement with the Uzbekistan government in November 2017. The accord provided the hospital with land and building free of charge.
The Korean hospital has invested about 10 billion won into restructuring buildings and installing equipment. The hospital contains 100 beds and will offer examinations for orthopedics, neurosurgery, general surgery, and internal medicine.
The ministry also provided financial support of 360 million won for the hospital construction through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute's Medical Overseas Support Project.
Himchan Hospital plans to send two Korean doctors, two nurses, one physical therapist, and five administrative officials to the newly opened Uzbekistan branch while employing 176 local medical professionals to provide high-quality medical services differentiated from other local hospitals.
Bukhara Himchan Hospital is also expected to act as a hub for medical education in Uzbekistan and Central Asia by jointly opening a physical therapy department with the Bukhara State Medical Institute.
"The opening of Bukhara Himchan Hospital is the result of the cooperation between the Korean and Uzbekistani governments and the Korean government’s policy to support overseas expansion of local private medical institutions," Minister of Health and Welfare Park Neung-hoo said. "The government will continue its active support to conclude more successful overseas expansion of Korea’s healthcare industry."
The government has been helping Korean medical institutions advance abroad. To reduce risks associated with the overseas advances by private medical institutions, the ministry has established an expert advisory group by region and sector and has been providing consulting support projects. Based on such support, 66 medical institutions have entered 18 countries since June 2016, according to the ministry.