South Korea introduces reform package for improved essential healthcare
The four-throng reform package covers increasing the number of healthcare professionals.
South Korea's Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) unveiled a four-throng healthcare reform package for its new and improved availability.
Introduced during a public engagement roundtable at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, the ministry introduced major priorities for improved healthcare including more healthcare professionals, stronger local healthcare, safety nets for medical malpractice, and a fairer compensation framework.
Healthcare professionals and experts underscored the need for increased compensation for essential healthcare services and a safer healthcare environment, alongside the lowering of liability of malpractice litigation.
Under the proposed reform package, the MOHW has pledged to increase the number of healthcare professionals in the country and expand the admission quota for medical schools as a resolution to the projected shortage of over 15,000 healthcare professionals by 2035.
Another pledge is for the strengthening of local healthcare, prioritising national university hospitals, and local private and public hospitals to make several essential healthcare services available. MOHW will also initiate a launch pilot project for local healthcare, with support up to $37.5m (KRW 50b) in selected regions over the next 3 years.
Third is the government setting up safety nets for medical malpractices, with a special rule that exempts professionals from criminal punishments in case of medical malpractice under strict insurance or mutual aid plans.
As for the fourth throng, the government must promote fairness of compensation, with over $7.5b (KRW 10t) to be devoted towards the raising of prices for essential healthcare services and the expansion of public policy fees and alternative payment schemes.