South Korea is one of the most popular medical tourism destinations in the world. (1) Plastic surgery and dermatology purposes are popular among foreign patients. Asian countries such as China, Japan, and Thailand mostly visited Korea for cosmetic purposes such as plastic surgery and dermatology.
Korea is considered the plastic surgery capital of the world because of its innovative use of technology for procedures at a reasonable price. According to Insider (an American media company), South Korea has the most plastic surgeries per capita in the world, with over 980,000 recorded operations in 2014. That's 20 procedures per 1,000 people, putting it ahead of the US's 13 procedures per 1,000. And Korea has had the most operations per capita since 2009.
Driven by demand for less expensive aesthetic treatments, the beauty tourism industry is developing quickly, especially in Asia and Latin America, as more and more tourists travel to all corners of the globe in pursuit of cosmetic surgery and beauty treatments.
Fillers and Botox procedures are relatively cheaper in South Korea than in Manila. Different clinics offer different pricing, and it also depends on the brand of botulinum toxin they use. But generally, prepare to shell out P350 to P500 per unit of botulinum toxin or P35,000 to P45,000 for the whole procedure.
While in South Korea, there are services that foreign patients can book, it acts as a middleman for them making the process easier for the patient and focusing on safety and professionalism by partnering up with the clinics best suited for the patient’s surgical desires. They just have to fill out a consultation form, and they will book the procedure for you and you will receive a cost estimate for the procedure.
For botulinum toxin procedures in South Korea, through browsing from beauty. jivaka, ranges from KRW48,000 (P2,100) to KRW280,000 (P12,070), the price depends on the brand that will be used. But same with here in the Ph, different clinics offer different pricing, with some offers ranging from $400 (P20,950) for a minimum price up to $1000 (P52,380) for the maximum price.
As for dermal fillers, it ranges from P20,000 to P35,000 per session here in the Philippines. While in South Korea, the cost ranges from KRW150,000 to KRW935,000, that approximately P6,467 up to P40,315 when converted to peso, price varies depending on the brand to be used.
Korea’s botox market has demonstrated that pricing is a key weapon against established, foreign brands. The uptrend in biosimilar drugs at the expense of their originators provides evidence that Korean makers are positioned to penetrate the global market. (2)
On the other hand, the Philippines ' more expensive pricing on these aesthetic procedures is mainly because of different factors. First, is the experience of the doctor always impacts the cost of this cosmetic treatment, we all know that here in the Philippines, not all clinics have a licensed doctor to do the job. Second, we don't produce our own brand of botox and fillers, we depend on the international market, and lastly, compared to South Korea, the Philippines ' market size is not as large as compared to them.