Do you remember the boom of medical dramas last winter? For example, ‘Surgeon Bong Dal-hee’ on SBS, ‘Behind the White Tower’ and ‘New Heart’ on MBC were some of the new dramas. Maybe some Chung-Ang University students could have seen the filming in Chung-Ang University Medical Center for the drama ‘New Heart”.
Many serial TV dramas shoot scenes taken at university hospitals. Last year, ’Surgeon Bong Dal-hee’ was shot at KonKuk University Medical Center, ’Behind the White Tower’ in Ajou University Hospital, and ’New Heart’ in Chung-Ang University Hospital.
The start of university medical centers as a shooting location was ‘General Hospital’ at Ajou University Hospital in 1994. The drama was on the air for 20 months before and after the opening of the hospital. The drama recorded an average of 21% program rating. Thanks to the popularity of the drama, Ajou University Hospital got many advantages, such as applications for their medical college increased radically. This enhanced the ranking of the hospital as a matter of course. There was a report that the hospital made about 200,000,000 won in advertising profits.
Ajou University Hospital is a trendsetter in this field. The hospital had a ‘Medication and Multimedia Symposium’ that discussed the present and future of Korean medical dramas. As a trendsetter, Ajou University Hospital has public relations material called ‘Ajou University & Medical Drama’ in its lobby.
From this advertising, many hospitals want to show their high-tech medical equipment through the drama. For this reason, some medical dramas were proposed by several hospitals as a shooting location. To advertise these hospitals effetely, hospitals as a drama’s setting are more desired when the hospital is about to open or is a newly emerging hospital.
In the past, there was a phrase that ‘this drama is sponsored by ‘OOO hospital’ in its credits. Now the Korea Communications Commission prohibits this phrase. Although it is prohibited, it is often public knowledge, reviled through other sources. Therefore, we can say the medical drama still has a capacity for advertising hospitals. In addition, a drama located in a hospital can achieve pride for its hospital staff and patients. Additionally, it can be a chance to see the filming of scenes and actors for people in the hospital.
However, in the view of patients and doctors, filming the drama is not always a good thing. It can be disturbing to them. For a scene in a drama, about 30 people including actors and crew members are needed. Besides the crowded ward, the shooting can affect patients’ rest.
So, we should think about the advertising of a hospital through a TV serial drama again. Many hospitals jump into the competition to bring a drama team to its hospital ward. Although there can be some problems like patients’ rest. Is the advertising from a medical drama worth it? Can it advertise the hospital’s merit or results of research? What is being advertised? Is it only the name of the hospital? So, it seems there is no merit to make an effort to appear in a drama without considering several problems.
It is natural that a hospital with high technology equipment should want an interest in a drama. Emerging hospitals and huge general hospitals are generally already popular. Because those hospitals not only have great equipment for surgery, but also have a neat landscape around its exterior of the building and interior of building.
The National Health Insurance Act appoints tertiary hospitals. According to the National Health Insurance Act, a tertiary hospital is a hospital, which deals with diseases that need very delicate operation using expensive equipment or deals with fatal and rare diseases that are hard for primary and secondary hospitals to treat. In other words, there are many patients with advanced diseases among the people, who visit tertiary hospitals.
Kim, whose father was pronounced with cancer of the liver, visited a university medical center with his father. There was a shooting for a drama and many shooting staff were in the ward. “Under the pretext of drama filming, they controlled the gate and held the elevator. It so annoyed me to take my father to a medical office. It is only patients who are unduly damaged,” he said.
So recent medical dramas are using special shooting sets that are separated from the medical center. For example, operation scenes often have the same backgrounds appear many times. Because in general, the operating room in a hospital is not available for shooting scenes, and places like the doctor’s office and nurses desk are not proper to use many times.
In case of ‘Behind the White Tower’, DongGuk University International Hospital and Kyung Hee University East-West Neo Medical Center had an interest in sponsoring a drama. However, the shooting took place in a studio, not at the hospital. Also, Ajou University Hospital shows only the exterior of the hospital and lobby on the weekends.
‘Surgeon Bong Dal-hee’ was filmed in a studio and at KonKuk University Medical Center. A staff in public relations department of the Medical Center says, “It was important not to disturb our patients. We made every effort by using a pavilion with no patients and filming on the weekend or at night.
‘General Hospital 2’, started broadcasting from the middle of November, and is shot in The Catholic University of Korea, Kangnam St. Mary’s Hospital. The drama’s filming is all located in the hospital. The hospital pavilion is going to be the scenery of ’General Hospital 2’, which will be shot before being opened to the public. This will be the first all on located filmed drama in Korea. It was possible because the pavilion is not opened to the public.
There were many popular medical dramas and there will be more. As a viewer of television dramas and a potential patient, before taking advantage of things like advertising for the hospital, the most important thing is that the hospital should put its patients and staff first.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >