The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) will be providing its safe hospital chaperone service for single-person households starting this month. This service is aimed at caring for single-person households who live without any family member or close acquaintances who can accompany them when they have to be urgently hospitalized due to sudden illness.
Seoul citizens can easily apply for the service via phone (1533-1179) or online (seoul1in.co.kr). When successfully applied, chaperone personnel (e.g. professional caregiver) will be sent within three hours to the applicant’s designated location and offer required services.
The service is aimed at a wide range of targets including single-parent families, grandparent-child families, as well as single-person households of all age groups so that citizens who find it difficult to get help from their family members can benefit from it.
This is a door-to-door service where a dispatched chaperone will accompany you as a guardian from the moment you leave home, go to a hospital, and return home. The service includes chaperoning service to a hospital and back home, reception/payment at the hospital, hospitalization and discharge, and going to a pharmacy. If the citizen is having difficulties in movements, the chaperon will help them to move and accompany them in the consultation if requested. This service is available all throughout Seoul.
The service charge is also inexpensive at an hourly rate of just KRW 5,000 without excessive financial burden. The service is available from 7 AM to 8 PM during weekdays, and from 9 AM to 6 PM by bookings only on weekends.
This service has been designed to alleviate the difficulties that arise when a single-person household member falls ill or need urgent medical treatment, one of the difficulties faced by single-person households (about 1.39 million households) which take up the largest and fastest-growing portion of household type in Seoul. This is one of the support programs for single-person households which was the first election pledge of Mayor Oh Se-hoon.
The SMG expects this service to enhance the quality of life for single-person households thanks to its ability to offer same-day service, unlike other similar private services that usually take two to three days until service delivery.