Due to sweeping hospital budget cuts in Korea over the last decade, security at medical establishments has become almost non-existant. The cuts have left rooms bereft of cable (which means no Korean Dramas: a staple of the country). Thousands of Korean hospital fugitives are seen every year, toting their I.V. bags behind them as they wander and loiter the streets; drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes to offset the beneficial effects of the glucose-antibiotic solutions of the I.V.. Even though the hospitals no longer can afford to hire full-time security to keep patients within the hospital, they do still contract certain personnel to recover patients who have escaped from their hospital rooms. The Korean hospital bounty hunter is pretty similar to a criminal bounty hunter. A patient who has left the hospital’s bounty accrues each hour that they are missing, and when it hits a tipping point, a contract is placed. At one point, I saw a hospital fugitive dancing with his IV in one hand and a bottle of Soju in the other at a club up in Seoul. Out of nowhere a heavy-set Korean man pushed through the crowd, tackled the man, and dragged him out by his feet. It was all over in a couple seconds. When I asked the bartender what had happened, he told me that the man who had been dragged out had a 3 million won bounty out for his return. I’m not sure if the situation will improve much over the next year that I am here, but as an
accurate honest adequate reporter of all things absurdly Korean, I will take as many pictures of hospital fugitives I can.
If anyone has seen any of the following hospital-fugitives, please call your local hospital and check the following bond listings:
– “Kim-chee” Kevin (400,000 won)
– Jeremy “Jindo” Jackson (350,000 won)
– Justin “Jeju” Jackson (350,000 won)
– “Hanbok” Henrietta (400,000 won)
– “Noribong” Ned (5.5 mil won) – As his name suggests he has been known to frequent singing establishments.
A concerned foreigner…who also writes a blog,