This study aims to devise an improvement plan for Korea’s medical insurance system. In spite of the continuous increase in social development investment, the medical security supply for the people is largely dependent on the private sector in Korea. The current absence of a mid-to-long term medical security policy framework has hindered the establishment of a healthcare supply system that can efficiently meet the rapidly growing demand. At the same time, income growth resulting from the continuous economic development and the push to expand medical insurance coverage has led to an explosive increase in demand that surpasses the level of economic growth. Consequently, the government’s medical security policy has reached a crossroad where it needs to urgently achieve equality in the medical welfare opportunities given to different regions in order to create a sound social safety net in terms of medical security, and to improve efficiency in the management of the supply and demand of healthcare resources.
In the process of medical insurance expansion, an institutional effort needs to be made to establish a medical delivery system through the financing function of insurance companies. Most of the discussions about the medical delivery system have evolved around the physical patient movement system in the most non-practical way. A thorough understanding of the medical delivery system should be preceded by an effort to identify the characteristics of statutory devices affecting medical institutions, the supply system that these institutions are collectively part of, the healthcare service users as well as the related businesses and interactive relationships between all of the related parties. The existing healthcare supply system needs to be improved through structural streamlining and the optimization of resources. Some of the structural challenges that the healthcare supply system faces in Korea are the relative weakness of advanced medicine and the functional overlap between different medical institutions.
A plan needs to be devised with specifics on the priorities and means for improvement in accordance with the medical institutions’ size as well as their management and legal nature. This is to be followed by the development of a facilitative system that outlines the functional separation and cooperation of different institutions. The quantity, quality, distribution, composition and management of medical resources are factors that can greatly influence the structure and function of the healthcare supply system. Also, the reform on healthcare human resources, at the heart of the system, is a high-priority task; the regional distribution of healthcare personnel is as important a policy issue as the imbalance of the workforce supply and demand.
Measures designed to improve the healthcare cost-management system encourage complementary competition between different medical institutions and relevant service providers, which will in turn enhance the efficiency of the system and minimize the deadweight that results from the redundant acquisition of various medical devices. In return, this minimizes the medical cost of certain healthcare services, with mutual efforts to lower the relevant costs and thereby slow the medical cost hike trend as well as strengthen the healthcare supply and medical delivery systems within the region.
의료보험확대개선방안(Medical insurance expansion & improvement measures)
|Series Title; No||정책연구시리즈 / 86-03|
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Social Development < Health|
|Holding||KDI; KDI School|