Medicare in Korea

The Changing Face of Korea

It’s early morning. As the sun creeps over the horizon I am dressed and walking as people around me sleep. The eerie stillness of dawn is broken by a 50-year-old woman clad in bright pink jogging around the nearby playground. As she makes her approach to the swings, feeling eyes upon her, she turns to stare at me. Ignoring the glare I walk onwards to the bus stop.

Koreans care for their image. Walking down a high street you will see brands plastered over the citizens who have opted to buy luxury brands with their hard-earned cash. 


RoK Window Pains

Finally, spring has sprung and we no longer have to wear our entire wardrobe before braving the outside world. These past few weeks have seen some glorious spring days with temperatures over 16°C. As the buds begin to open and the blossoms begin to bloom we prepare ourselves for the unbearably hot, sticky summer in the concrete urban jungle.


Rant and Rave 5: How many fingers…?

It’s funny how something I see every day here in Korea stirs memories of primary school in England. During that time, my days sitting at the back of the classroom were numbered as it became harder and harder for me to read what the teacher was writing on the board. My difficulties were not really noticed until my first visit to an optometrist. It was there I was diagnosed with mild astigmatism and recommended that I needed aid in the vision department. To me, having my eyesight corrected was nothing short of a miraculous opening up of the world. Suddenly, I could fully enjoy growing up in the heyday of Thundercats, Grotbags, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles and other such delights that I considered to be the finer things in life. So, to sport my affections, I chose a pair of tortoise-shell blue frames for my first glasses.


Death by Fan

Korea is slowly killing me at the moment with its summer. Breaking into a sweat by just walking in the shade wearing a short sleeved shirt and shorts is not my idea of a fun day out when you’re just going to the shops. It’s a case of constantly having to drink water and searching for anywhere that is air conditioned. Unbelievable as it may seem, you can see quite a few Koreans walking around in jeans, coats and sweaters when it is at least 32C (90F) and 85% humidity. Then there are those who appear to have similar traits to a traditional vampire and shy away from the sun, covering their face with a huge visor or using an umbrella as a shield against the dreaded ultraviolet rays. However, I think that this behaviour has little to do with the heat. It’s probably more of an Elizabethan attitude of desiring an abnormally unhealthy pale skin.


H1N1 one year on

It’s almost a year since the H1N1 virus, widely known as swine flu, was the feared pandemic that swept across the world. In North Korea the estimated death rate per infection is estimated as hundreds of times greater than those for South Korea. This glaring example of two extremes owes much to the medical advantage that the south has over the north. What is perhaps even more interesting is that South Korea has been able to gain a measure of infection control better than the UK. (information extrapolated from http://www.flucount.org/ ).


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