EMERGENCY MEDICAL AND AMBULANCE SERVICES IN SOUTH KOREA

Ambulance in South Korea

AT-A-GLANCE

DIAL 119 TO CALL AN AMBULANCE IN SOUTH KOREA

  • Dialing 1139 is used for ambulance transport between hospitals

Return to Global EMS Database home page

SCOREBOARD

% of Seriously Injured Transported by Ambulance

11-49%

[Source: 2013 Global Status Report on Road Safety, WHO]

Road Traffic Injury Deaths
(per 100,000 population)

  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • United States

[Source: 2015 Global Status Report on Road Safety, WHO]

Reported Homicides
(per 100,000 population)

  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • United States

[Source: 2014 Global Status Report on Violence Prevention, WHO-UNDP]

HOW CAN I CALL AN AMBULANCE IN SOUTH KOREA?

HOW DO I CALL FOR HELP?
  • Dial 119 for an ambulance in South Korea
CAN I CALL FOR HELP ANYWHERE?
WHAT OTHER EMERGENCY NUMBERS CAN I CALL?

Dial 119 for Prehospital Care and Fire Department

  • Affiliated with 150 local fire stations, nation-wide
  • Fully responsible entire scope of emergency rescue services

Dial 1139 for Emergency Medical Information Center

  • Coordinates communication between ambulances, emergency medical facilities and hospitals; Some prehospital emergency response is provided by ambulance through this number, though “more focused on rapid transfer to a hospital rather than on prehospital care”

Dial 112 for Police

Dial 111 for National Intelligence Service (to report terrorism, spies, fraud and international crimes)

Dial 1330 for Korean Travel Hotline (tourism assistance with English, Chinese and Japanese available upon request)

Ground Ambulance in South Korea

  • Insert

Air Ambulance in South Korea

WHAT ABOUT IN DISASTERS?
ARE THE RESPONDERS TRAINED?
HOW WILL I GET TRANSPORTED?

Ground Ambulance in South Korea

Insert

Air Ambulance in United Arab Emirates

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WHERE WILL I BE TRANSPORTED TO?
HOW WILL I PAY?

ADDITIONAL INFO

COMMON MEDICAL EMERGENCIES AND VACCINATIONS

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), different groups of travelers will require different vaccinations for travel in South Korea:

  • All Travelers:
    • Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine
    • Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine
    • Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine
    • Polio vaccine
    • Your yearly flu shot
  • Most Travelers:
    • Hepatitis A
    • Typhoid
  • Some Travelers:
    • Hepatitis B
    • Japanese Encephalitis
    • Malaria
    • Rabies

Read more about travel in South Korea at the CDC website: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/south-korea (Last accessed: Aug. 7, 2017)

HISTORY

Prior to 1988 Seoul Olympic Games

  • Only FD was responsible for fire-fighting and life-saving
  • Private ambulances used for transfers and emergency rescue activities
  • Preparations for Olympics included reorganizing fire stations to provide emergency rescue activities through newly established Special Rescue Service

1990s Disasters (revealed gaps in EMS system)

  • 1994 – Suns-Su Bridge collapse
    • 30 killed; 20 injured
  • 1995 – Sampoong Department Store collapse
    • 500 killed; 900 injured
  • 1995 – Daegu gas explosions
    • 100 killed; 200 injured
  • Resulted in creation of National 119 Rescue Service
    • Local 119 Rescues Services subordinate to National Service
  • 2002- FIFA World Cup (joint-hosting with Japan)
    • National 119 Rescue Service reorganized
    • Linked EMS with hospital EDs
      • Collaborated with national Emergency Physicians’ Association (est. 1996)
    • Reorganization proved successful during World Cup
      • Also proven effective in subsequent Daegu subway fire where response was significant improvement from past disasters
GOVERNMENT OVERSIGHT
REFERENCES
  • Choi SH, Hong YS, Lee SW, Jung IC, Kim CS: “Prehospital and emergency department care in South Korea.” Can J Emerg Med 2007;9(3):171-3.
LINKS

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MAGEN DAVID ADOM ISRAEL

PALESTINIAN RED CRESCENT SOCIETY

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