Best English speaking doctor in Busan South Korea
Over the last 3 months, I had slowly made my way down the Island of Japan. The last stop on my Japan tour was Fukuoka so that I could take the Ferry from Hakata to Busan in Korea. I had a blast in Fukuoka & met some amazingly kind & hilariously funny people.
The last few days in Fukuoka were spent partying & drinking which probably led to what was to follow. After an awesome night out I stumbled into bed in the wee hours of the morning only to be struck down with a terrible aching throat. It was like nothing I had felt before. It had me in tears everytime I tried to swallow or eat. I thought maybe I had the start of a common cold or flu but this was not the case. As the days dragged on like the sandpaper across my tonsils I realised I was probably in trouble.
Only a few hours away from boarding the ferry across to Busan, I dragged my ass out of bed to pack my bag; It looked as poorly as I did. I went to bed early dreading the next day of international travel.
I woke up bright & early the next day after an atrocious nights sleep & set off for the port. My symptoms were masked by a combination of panadol, ibuprofen & some Chinese herbal drinks. The ferry trip to Busan was pleasant but on the inside, it felt like razors running down my throat. I went through security and customs like breeze but I'm sure the lady taking my immigration photograph could see the pain in my eyes.
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MY BUSAN EXPERIENCE
I had booked a week in Busan, anticipating a week filled with market hopping, street food eating & beach visits. The reality of my stay was not as adventurous. What I saw of Busan could be summed up in dot point form;
• my room
• hotel lobby
• hotel elevator
• convenience store
• the inside of a bus
•Haeundae Beach (the highlight)
• Busan cultural village (for like 20 minutes)
I have literally no photographs of Busan but don't worry, my shitty itinerary is not what I'm talking about today. Instead, I want to talk about the amazing healthcare I received whilst in Busan.
ENGLISH SPEAKING DOCTOR BUSAN
So after 4 days of having this effed up throat situation, I decided to see a doctor. I can't say I wasn't nervous; one about the language barrier & two the cost. Now I have travel insurance but the thought of forking out a couple of hundred dollars had me feeling iller.
In true traveler style, I hit the online forums, searching for an English speaking doctor in Busan. The options were limited to one online forum but damn was it a Hail, Mary. One expat recommended Nurse Lee at Dong Eui Medical Center. He described her as the hospitals' liaison for English speaking patients. He even wrote down her phone number & email address which I will share with you.
Phone number :82 51 850 8941
At about 6 am when my throat was peaking at its worst, I sent her an email. The next two hours were more painful than ever as I sat wondering. Did she get my email? Will she reply? Is this even a real thing? Will I get an appointment today? Then I received a reply. THANK GOD as I was about 30 minutes away from pulling my vocal chords out & booking a flight home.
Her email was simple to the point.
What is your full name?
When can you come in?
NOW I CAN COME IN NOW!
We exchanged two emails & I was booked in. She advised me to take the free shuttle bus from Yangjeong station (Orange line) that is parked at street level. It is a blue bus that comes every 10-15 minutes. If you can’t find it, look for a group of oldies standing on the curb. They are more than likely waiting for said bus. You can walk from the station to the medical center but I wouldn’t advise it as it is a steep climb.
Upon entering the medical center I made my way towards the information desk. The lady behind the counter knew exactly who I was & rushed to get Nurse Lee. After a few minutes, a lady with an IV bag attached to her arm came out. At first, I thought she was a patient, but then I realized it was Nurse Lee. I had to laugh. She then ushered me into a nearby room where I filled out a patient form. She then gave me instructions to go up to the third level & wait for the doctor.
Once inside the Doctor’s office, I was completely at ease. He was kind, professional & funny. After examining my throat he concluded that I had a severe case of tonsillitis & I should be on some antibiotics for a few days. He explained exactly how to take them and when. He then sent me on my way but not before asking how I knew about his office to which I replied with “The power of the internet!”
He laughed & thanked me for coming to visit him & said If I needed help with anything further he would be here. He then pulled out a piece of paper from his desk. On it were the words
“Do not neglect to show kindness to strangers; for, in this way, some, without knowing it, have had angels as their guests.”
I was almost in tears as I left his office. Never have I known such kindness from medical professionals. From Nurse Lee answering my email & setting up an appointment for me & then taking me through the steps. To the doctor who saw me & helped cure my illness. To the pharmacists who explained to me what my medication was & how to take it.
In total, my trip to the doctor plus medication in Busan cost me $32. I was actually shocked. Not only had I received the medicine to get rid of my awful tonsillitis but my medical consultation bill was almost non existent. I left with a smile that was not on my face when I entered. If you are sick in Busan I HIGHLY recommend Nurse Lee from the Dong Eui Medical Center. She will help you with anything you need any day of the week.