• Tue. Sep 27th, 2022

[ED] Strengthen essential medical services

ByMadeleine J. Pierce

Aug 22, 2022












































[ED] Strengthening essential <a class="wpil_keyword_link " href="/category/medical-services/" title="medical services" data-wpil-keyword-link="linked">medical services</a> – The Korea Times






































































OFStrengthen essential medical services

It’s time to review current health insurance coverage

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said in its report to President Yoon Suk-yeol on Friday that it would facilitate more funding for essential medical services directly related to life to avoid further similar tragedies in the wake of of the death of a nurse at one of Seoul’s top hospitals. Specifically, the ministry pledged to implement measures to boost health fields such as pediatrics and obstetrics reeling from low fertility and life-saving surgeries by revamping medical insurance coverage. from the country.

The ministry’s plan is a step in the right direction, given the dire need to address the chronic shortage of medical personnel in essential health services, shunned by medical students and doctors. On the morning of July 24, a nurse at the Asan Medical Center fell unconscious, showing symptoms of a cerebral hemorrhage. But the 2,700-bed-plus hospital did not have a neurosurgeon who could perform emergency surgery for the nurse at the time, so she had to be taken to Seoul National University Hospital where she was declared dead.

Korea is called an advanced nation in health services in general, but its treatment system in essential medical services is on the verge of collapse. While departments such as plastic surgery and dermatology guaranteeing money and hobbies attract students in droves, general surgery and obstetrics which have high risks but offer low returns are shunned. This is because insurance reimbursements are too low for surgeries requiring advanced skills.

As a result, the number of surgical specialists licensed each year has almost halved over the past 30 years; one might not be able to have an emergency appendectomy 10 years later due to chronic shortages of medical personnel. All of this raises the need to review current medical insurance coverage, based on the risk and severity of medical services. Health authorities should ensure the long-term financial sustainability of the health insurance system, which has been battered by the so-called “Moon Jae-in care” which has dramatically expanded coverage of non-essential medical services. Certainly, it is time to invest more in essential medical services.