Wednesday, May 23, 2012

[Living] Living Comfortably in Daegu (3)

1.    Hospital

When you visit hospital, you may experience some communication problems. At general hospitals, the wait time is longer than at smaller hospitals or clinics. In case you are not fluent in Korean, it is advisable to ask a Korean speaker to accompany you to ensure proper communication. Or you may choose an international clinic where there is more use of English for communication. Some hospitals may only take certain credit cards, and thus it is a good idea to take some cash with you just in case. Also, you should remember that the National Health Insurance card is not a pre-paid card.

2.    Child Health Care

The infant period is the time when physical growth is vigorous and therefore infants can easily become ill due to a declining level of immunity. During this period, infants can receive health management services and necessary vaccinations, free of charge from the nearest health center.


Vaccination is to give a preventative injection to guard against infectious diseases. You can get preventative injections for your baby against the required vaccination group free of charge. When you visit a community health center for this purpose, you also need to have a maternal & child health care note with you. Please refer the website: regarding vaccinations.

Notice before vaccination

*Before vaccination
- It is better to be vaccinated in the morning because it will be easier to return in the event of a problem.
- You need to obtain the baby note and write down the vaccination facts.
- You need to check if there is a fever.
- Bathe the baby in advance and dress with clean clothes.
- It will be better for the parents to take the baby to the hospital, rather than someone more unfamiliar with the infant's health condition.

*After vaccination
- Rub the injected part for over 5 minutes so that the medicine is well spread.
- Do not bathe the baby for one day after the injection is received.
- Keep the injection area clean.
- Check the condition of the baby continually for at least 3 hours after injection.
- Go back to the hospital immediately if there is a fever or spasms after the injection

3.    National Health Insurance

If you subscribe to the National Health Insurance Plan, you must pay a monthly premium according to your income, and you will be able to use medical institutions at a lower price when you are sick or you give birth.


Those who have an alien registration card and work for a company under the benefits of company health insurance, or those who are employed as a public officer or a teacher, are qualified to be an insured employee. Those who have an alien registration card but are not qualified to be an insured employee, can be selfemployed insured on a voluntary basis. In this case, for those who have resided in Korea for more than 3 months or will be certain to live in Korea for more than 3 months because of studying or working, can subscribe to National Health Insurance.

How to subscribe

-If your spouse is an insured employee, you can be registered as a dependent and receive National Health Insurance (required documents: dependent qualification acquisition form, alien registration card, identification card of spouse, document to prove the family relationship)
-If an international resident is an employee of a workplace, they are automatically qualified to be an insured employee. The company shall submit the necessary documents, including alien registration card, to the National Health Insurance Corporation.
-In the case that neither spouse works for a company, they can subscribe to the National Health Insurance plan as a self-employed insured.
(necessary documents: alien registration card, application form)


You can get required medical treatment at a lower price at hospitals, clinics, or oriental clinics. However, part of the medical expenses should be covered individually at the time of treatment. And, despite some differences according to your age, you can get free physical check-up once every two years.
For more details about the monthly premium, eligibility, benefits, etc., please visit the website of the National Health Insurance Corporation at or call the Daegu Health Insurance Corporation at 053-650-8900. You may also contact the nearest branch of the Corporation.

중구 지사 / Jung-gu Branch 053-420-4114
수성구 지사 / Suseong-gu Branch 053-751-1050
남구 지사 / Nam-gu Branch 053-621-0080
동구 지사 / Dong-gu Branch 053-740-8500
북구 지사 / Buk-gu Branch 053-666-0114
달서구 지사 / Dalseo-gu Branch 053-620-7114
달성군 지사 / Dalseong-gun Branch 053-642-3632~2

4.    Postal Services

When mailing letters, postcards or small packages, put them in a red mailbox on the streets (item must have proper postage) or visit a post office.

Local mail

Stop by a local post office to send letters, postcards, or packages.

Express mail service

Various letters, documents, gifts and merchandise with a maximum weight of 30kg may be shipped. This amount may be further limited to 15 or 20kg according to country. Weight limits by country can be verified at the post office. For more information, please visit the website: (English version available) or visit the Daegu Post Office at or call at 250-2051~3.


DHL 1588-0001
FedEx 080-023-8000
UPS 1588-6886

Korea postal service

Widely used to send heavy or large items to any place in the nation. A truck will be sent to your location to pick up the item when you make a call to 1588-1300, or use their website: It is not necessary to visit a Post Office. When the item weighs more than a certain amount, it can cost less than using the ordinary mailing system. Usually, a delivery can be done by the next day.

5.     Customs&Manners

Korean traditional holidays are closely related with farming life and they are repeated every year according to the lunar calender. Details of traditional festivals were decided by four distinct seasons. Among holidays which are still celebrated fervently are Seol and Hangawi, the autumnal full moon day.

Seolnal (January 1st on the lunar calendar)

This is the biggest traditional holiday of the year. Most Koreans visit their parents or families and make a round of New Year's calls. People may enjoy traditional New Year's folk games, such as Yut-nori, Korean seesawing, and kite flying. Usually, families get together to eat rice-cake soup or dumpling soup.

Hansik (the 105th day from winter solstice)

There is a folk belief that people avoid hot or warm food and have cold food instead. Around this holiday, the busy farming season begins.

Dano (the fifth day of the fifth lunar month)

On Dano farmers took a day off from the field for joint festivities marking the completion of sowing, while women washed their hair in special water prepared by boiling iris with the hope of preventing misfortune. Dano was a major holiday in the old days, but interest has decreased except in a few provinces.

Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) (August 15 on the lunar calendar)

Since it is the time of harvest, it is the most abundant period among all
the traditional holidays. It can be considered as a Korean Thanksgiving.
Families get together to eat Songpyeon rice cake.

*To perform a New Year's bow on New Year's Day
- First hold your hands together with a polite attitude. Be careful not to make your fingertips to be directed at the seniors.
- Seniors or elders to whom you would usually bow can wave off the gesture.
- Make a normal bow to seniors in a room after he/she is seated.
- Seniors may make a return bow to pay regard if they wish.
- Even though the counterpart may be children of friends or students, if they are grown-up a return bow should be made.

*Proper names for families and relatives
In Korea, there are certain names among families and relatives. If you look at a family tree, you may find proper names for the families, and relatives of the husband or wife.

*Family tree
A drawing to explain the history of a family's relationships. Horizontal lines mean a relationship by marriage, and vertical lines mean a relationship between parent and child.


  1. Thanks for that post. I think it is important to ensure that you are covered by an expat medical insurance provider before you go anywhere where you're not eligible for a health cover. Simply put, for both piece of mind and to avoid any unexpected expensive costs if something were to go wrong insurance is a must. Plus, private insurance usually means a higher standard of medical attention and avoids any possible language barrier issues.

  2. Pete, great info~~ thanks for the tip!!^^