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Last updateThu, 13 Dec 2018 12am

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    Wednesday, December 12, 2018-12:31:16P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Kang Dong Orthopedic Hospital: NMI’s partner for a healthy community

TEN patients benefitted from the partnership forged by Kang Dong Orthopedic Hospital and the CNMI Medical Referral Office which started in January 2018.

Located in Busan City, the second largest and one of the most progressive cities in South Korea, Kang Dong Orthopedic Hospital aims to serve more people from the CNMI through medical referral.

“We are here to talk about expanding the services for Cnmi people,” the hospital’s vice president Suk-kyun Kang said.

The partnership started when Medical Referral Office Director Ronald Sablan visited the hospital in 2017. “He learned everything about our facility and our services and noted the establishment near the hospital, like bank, market, shopping center. After that, he decided to work with us,” Kang said.

In “testing the water,” the Medical Referral Office sent a total of 10 patients this year.

Kang and Kang Dong Orthopedic Hospital international healthcare center manager Hyeon-joo Park were on Saipan last week to visit their former patients. “We want to find out if they are okay, especially after Typhoon Yutu,” Kang said.

“The reason why we come here is, first of all, we want to check if our patients are doing fine after the treatment,” Kang said. They gathered their patients on Thursday, Nov. 29.

“We also conducted interview with our patients about the services they get in the hospital and what are the areas that they think we need improvement,” Kang said, adding all patients gave positive feedback.

Medical Referral Director Ronald Sablan meets with Kang Dong international healthcare center manager Hyeon-joo Park, left, and patients who received treatment at the hospital.Medical Referral Director Ronald Sablan meets with Kang Dong international healthcare center manager Hyeon-joo Park, left, and patients who received treatment at the hospital.

Kang Dong Orthopedic Hospital is a multidisciplinary hospital in the field of joints and spine. Using high-tech navigation system, the hospital performed more than 400 difficult revision operations per year with a success rate of 99 percent.

The patients coming from Saipan got treatment with diseases concerning their joints, knees, back and shoulder problems.

In the past, the CNMI Medical Referral Office sent patients to the Philippines or Guam.

“They had the advantage because they speak English fluently. In our hospital, we have staff and doctors who could speak English as well. Language would not be a barrier,” Kang assured. “If we have foreign patient, we worked with them from start to end. We have staff who will pick them up at the airport. We can also arrange for patient and a family escort for a tour around Korea. We have many things to explore and many places to shop.”

He noted that going to Busan is more convenient for patients because they have direct flight from Busan to Saipan, Busan to Guam, which would only take more than three hours travel.

Before they received patients from the CNMI, Kang said they renovated a portion of the hospital, where they removed 100 beds and divided the space into 10 rooms for medical referral patients.

Each room has two beds, one for the patient and one for the family escort.

“Mr. Sablan wants to have spacious space for the patient and the family escort. They can stay while the patient is receiving treatment. They do not have to go out of the hospital and find a hotel,” he said.

 Medical Referral Director Ronald D. Sablan meets with Kang Dong Orthopedic Hospital President Shin-hyeok Kang through video conference. Also in photo, Hyeon-joo Park, Kang Dong Orthopedic Hospital international healthcare center manager.  Contributed photos Medical Referral Director Ronald D. Sablan meets with Kang Dong Orthopedic Hospital President Shin-hyeok Kang through video conference. Also in photo, Hyeon-joo Park, Kang Dong Orthopedic Hospital international healthcare center manager. Contributed photos

Other services for patients and family escort include airport to hospital transfer, all day TV programs and internet service. Korean and western meals are available.

Before going to Korea, Kang Dong Hospital can hold video consultations with foreign patients who are planning to get treatment in the hospital.

Kang said the first year of their partnership with the CNMI Medical Referral Office was good. “We always communicate with the committee members and report to them all the progress we have with the patients and discuss with them any problems they might have with us. Our communication line is always open to them.”

Kang Dong Orthopedic Hospital, according to Kang, wants to continue the partnership with the CNMI. “We can assure better service.”

For next year plan, according to Kang, the medical referral committee agreed to expand the services from the hospital.

The patients that will be referred to them will not be limited to orthopedic cases but all kind of patients with other diseases. “We have a good connections and contacts with other best hospital in Korea.”

Kang Dong Orthopedic Hospital is the only hospital in Korea which is working with the CNMI Medical Referral Office.

“We talked to Director Sablan. He wants us to connect the CNMI to other health providers. This way, they could avoid complications with other hospitals, which have different proposals and different policy.  Kang Dong hospital will act as CNMI’s ‘bridge’ to other health institutions in Korea,” Kang said.