Patient Stories: Janson from Singapore
Today’s post begins a new series. We want to highlight the real stories of foreigners who have received different medical services while abroad. From the good to the bad, the ugly to the hilarious, we hope to demystify what it’s like to access healthcare far from home. Hopefully, sharing the wisdom of those who have experienced it will help you too! If you’re interested in sharing your story with us, contact us here. We’d love to feature you in a future post. Our resident social media pro and lovable maknae, Janson from Singapore, shares his story today about his experience getting LASIK eye surgery in Korea.
Why I decided to get LASIK eye surgery in Korea
Hi there! My name is Janson. I’m a Singaporean studying Korean here in Seoul and I have been in Korea for 2 years now. My main hobby is making vlogs on Youtube about my experiences in Korea.
Since I was about 8 years old, I have always worn prescription glasses. To be honest, after 15 years I was used to wearing glasses, even with the struggles of wearing glasses. If you wear glasses, I’m sure you’ll know what I mean.
- Cleaning dirty glasses because they get dirty ALL THE TIME
- Light reflecting on the glasses that looks terrible in photos
- Misplacing your glasses and having to grope around blindly for the day
- Easily breaking when you accidentally drop them
- Buying expensive contact lens just to look good
And the list goes on! Everything on this list has happened to me. I bought contact lenses and tried to wear them to solve these problems, but I couldn’t actually put them in. I felt like I would have to wear glasses for the rest of my life.
But never once in 15 years of wearing glasses did I think that I would have LASIK eye surgery to correct my vision. Especially LASIK eye surgery in Korea!
However, when I came to Korea, I realized that LASIK eye surgery is three times cheaper than it is in Singapore. I was surprised . I knew (who doesn’t?) that the whole country advertises a lot about plastic surgery. However, I didn’t realize that they specialize in other treatments too.
My concerns about LASIK eye surgery in Korea
So I wanted to try to get my vision fixed, but the language barrier was a very big issue. I was afraid that I would make the wrong decision when choosing the type of eye surgery. Because I don’t speak Korean well, I also worried that the clinic would give me the wrong treatment because I did not understand the language. I was the most scared about this. However, after looking at many clinics, I finally found one clinic that has an English-speaking translator. This translator acts like your personal assistant and comforter during the surgery.
Aside from the doctors and staff not knowing English, I was impressed with how professional the clinic was. Also, the clinic has a lot of experience with LASIK eye surgery, which made me feel comfortable. Many of my questions were directed to the translator, who was working there who despite not having a medical background. Then, the translator was able to provide clear information of what I needed to know in English. For the things she did not know, she was able to help me by communicating with the doctor in Korean. Still, it would have been nice to have this experience with someone who could speak English with a background in medicine, to make me feel more at ease.
My advice for getting LASIK eye surgery in Korea
To be honest, I was very lucky to find a good clinic that could provide this translation service. Everything went well. My only problem is that I have slightly dry eyes now, but that’s because I keep forgetting eye drops. If you get LASIK eye surgery, don’t be like me! Eye drops are important!
My advice to any foreigners in Korea who want to receive any medical services in the country is to check if the clinic has any English-speaking staff who can speak fluently. You should be careful, as some agencies offer to help you but they end up charging you more, or giving you a “foreigner price” to undergo treatment. This is especially important for getting something like LASIK eye surgery in Korea, because your eyes are so important.
This experience, and realizing how difficult it can be to find reliable medical information in English, led me to Jivaka Care. A few months later, a mutual friend introduced me to Jivaka Care, which works to create a foreigner-friendly experience for those seeking healthcare here in Korea. I really like that the company focuses on patients and their needs. So, I joined the company to help other foreigners here in Korea.
Learn more about Jivaka Care
If you have any questions about medical services such as eye surgery, dental services, general health check ups, skin treatment, or anything else you may be curious about, please send a message to us on Facebook or on our website. We are building a community where anyone could come to us to find out more about the healthcare system in Korea. Jivaka Care also wants to make a space where people can come and interact with other foreigners who may have the same problems. When it comes to actual doctor visits, our Care planners cover the roles of a translator, consultant, medical adviser, planner, and supporter for a foreigner needing medical services.
We’re also looking for feedback on what kinds of topics and issues foreigners face in trying to access healthcare while abroad, so feel free to contact us with questions!