Ghost Surgeries in South Korea Due to Profit
South Korea has the highest rate of plastic surgery per capita, and ghost surgery is a problem. Another person is performing the surgery instead of the surgeon who was supposed to perform the surgery. Many times these South Korea attracted thousands of plastic surgery tourists annually. So this is much more than harm being done to the citizens of the country. This is an international issue.
high-profile surgeons often use K-pop stars or celebrities to promote their clinic. But during busy periods, some can’t deal with the volume of patients, especially as star doctors also need to be available for consultations with new customers.
Ghost doctors are a way for clinics to maximize profits by getting another doctor to cover the star practitioner — even if it’s not legal.
Not all surgeries performed by ghost doctors result in injuries, but between 2016 to 2020, 226 people were injured or died during plastic surgery, according to the Korea Consumer Agency, which did not specify which proportion had died or how. Some people who have died following plastic surgery include international travelers drawn to South Korea for plastic surgery.
Patients may not be aware they have been operated on by a ghost doctor. Ghost doctors may not note their involvement in the surgery on medical charts, and many operating rooms don’t have cameras.
It’s unclear how many cases make it to court. But after cases are prosecuted in court, the Ministry of Health and Welfare can impose additional suspensions on doctors. A total of 28 administrative dispositions were imposed on doctors who ordered substituted surgery from 2015 to 2019. Five lost their licenses, and the rest had their licenses temporarily suspended. One doctor who asked a nurse to perform eyelid or nose plastic surgeries at least 90 times received only a three-month suspension. Another doctor who ordered a medical device company employee and a nurse to perform at least 58 surgeries on spinal disc patients got a three-month suspension, the office added.The three doctors involved in Kwon’s case are now facing criminal charges of manslaughter during the course of their work, two doctors and one nursing assistant face charges of an unlicensed medical act, and one doctor faces a charge of violating medical laws by exaggerating in an advertisement.