Korea is taken into account one of the vital “trendy” nations. The recognition of Ok-pop, Ok-drama, Ok-movie, Ok-food and even Ok-beauty is rising all around the world.
That is all of the extra shocking as a result of the nation had been at struggle for 70 years and was one of many poorest nations for 60 years.
The time period “Miracle on the Han River,” referring to South Korea’s speedy financial progress after the Korean Battle, isn’t any exaggeration.
Miraculous progress has additionally occurred within the Korean healthcare sector. OECD statistics present that Korea is among the high nations amongst OECD members in most health-related indicators.
Korea has the best variety of medical visits per capita – 17.2 occasions a 12 months – and the variety of hospital beds per 1,000 inhabitants is 2.8 occasions the OECD common.
Regardless of frequent use of medical companies, Korea’s medical value share of GDP is 8.2%, decrease than the OECD common of 8.8%.
Nearly all Koreans obtain nationwide medical health insurance protection. All Korean folks can entry virtually any medical establishment – from a clinic to a college hospital – to get medical companies at low value. They hardly ever have to attend lengthy to see a specialist or have surgical procedure.
Korea can also be superior in medication. Six Korean hospitals had been among the many high 100 hospitals on this planet introduced by Newsweek in March 2022. Korea ranks tenth by way of printed medical articles.
So how has Korea formed its healthcare system, thought of the perfect cost-effective on this planet?
A medical journalist lately launched a e-book that tells the key of Korean well being success.
Korea Biomedical Evaluation spoke with Jaeyoung Park, writer of the e-book “Incomplete Miracle: Gentle and Shadow of the Korean Healthcare System”.
Query: What made you write this e-book?
Reply: In 2000, Korean docs went on an unprecedented 10-month, large-scale strike. Many Koreans puzzled what sort of issues made docs, who’ve a really excessive socioeconomic standing, so aggressive to go on a large strike. The incidence didn’t occur out of the blue due to a coverage change or two. It was an explosion of many issues that had gathered over the past 20 or 30 years.
Witnessing the nice confusion and battle on the time, I made a decision to write down a commentary on the strengths and weaknesses of the Korean healthcare system, its historic context, and well being traits that individuals do not know a lot about. The fruit of these efforts was this e-book, first printed in Korean in 2013. As one of many few medical journalists, I assumed this was one thing I needed to do.
Q: You are a health care provider, however your profession appears distinctive.
ONE: I labored briefly within the scientific subject as a health care provider and labored as a journalist in a media firm coping with well being points for over 20 years. I earned a Ph.D. in well being legislation and medical ethics. I’ve written a number of books, together with full-length novels, essays, and tons of of quick columns. I typically give lectures to medical college students, docs, healthcare staff and most of the people. I can describe the strengths and weaknesses of the Korean healthcare system with relative accuracy and objectivity.
Q: Why did you publish the e-book in English this time?
ONE: The Korean model of my e-book was very nicely acquired. When the e-book got here out, 16 newspapers printed important articles. Up to now, the e-book has had its eleventh printing. It was uncommon for a health-related e-book to promote nicely, and I felt rewarded.
After I began penning this e-book in Korean, I had plans to publish the English model.
Many overseas students and specialists are interested in Korea’s healthcare system. Earlier than the Covid-19 pandemic, dozens of overseas specialists visited Korea yearly to study our medical health insurance system. Nevertheless, associated supplies in English are very poorly written. I noticed English supplies made by the Korean authorities a very long time in the past. Nonetheless, they solely superficially listed the positives and barely talked about the opposing sides. Whereas the Korean healthcare system has many deserves, displaying what’s lacking will actually assist outsiders get the “proper view”.
Q: The English model got here greater than eight years after the Korean model. Did you make adjustments to the content material?
ONE: Two native English audio system meticulously translated the content material. Nonetheless, as they aren’t well being specialists, there have been many components that I needed to edit myself. The Korean model is over 400 pages and the English model is 350 pages. It took a substantial period of time to overview the copy.
However apart from just a few detailed expressions, I have never edited the content material a lot as a result of the Korean healthcare system has hardly ever modified in recent times.
An important a part of the e-book explains how Korea formed the healthcare system for half a century after 1970 and what sort of traits emerged in the course of the course of.
There is no such thing as a want to vary the historic context half. There will likely be virtually no time distinction in descriptions of the present well being system or outlook.
Q: What does the title of the e-book imply?
ONE: Simply as folks name Korea’s financial progress a “miracle”, Korean well being improvement is nearly a miracle. I defined how such a miracle was doable within the e-book in nice element.
Nevertheless, Koreans had to surrender many issues and make many irrational selections to attain such success. Many foreigners reward Korea’s medical health insurance program. Nonetheless, there is a motive why Korean docs and most of the people are sad about it. A typical instance is a “three-minute session”. A physician normally spends solely three minutes seeing an outpatient. It is 5 to 6 minutes for a first-time affected person, tops.
An outpatient solely pays about $3 per physician’s appointment. The overall quantity paid with medical health insurance is about $15. Because of this, a health care provider has to see over 100 sufferers a day. If you happen to look carefully, there are a lot of “holes” within the Korean well being miracle. That is why I named the e-book’s title, “Incomplete Miracle.”
Q: What are the implications of the Korean healthcare system for overseas healthcare specialists?
ONE: Medication is a science, however well being is a tradition. A profitable system in a single nation isn’t essentially successful in one other. A system that has failed in lots of nations might achieve one nation. However I am positive Korea’s distinctive case provides many classes for developed and creating nations. These with out social medical health insurance can acquire important perception into the early mannequin of Korea’s medical health insurance program. Superior nations affected by rising medical prices want to look at how Korea has managed medical bills. In each instances, after all, they have to think about the sunshine and darkish sides collectively.
Q: Why do you name your e-book a “hybrid”?
ONE: As a result of this e-book covers the numerous aspects of politics, economics, society and tradition. It mixes analysis and statistics with private expertise. There are quite a few case research alongside imagined eventualities.
It’s a e-book about well being, categorized as politics/society in bookstores. Many readers stated they laughed out loud a number of occasions whereas studying my e-book.
Q: What sort of folks do you anticipate to learn this e-book?
ONE: I need everybody to learn. The extra folks perceive the traits of well being care, the simpler it is going to be to implement a sound well being care coverage. I attempted to write down it in phrases that had been simple to learn with none issues, even for highschool college students. In fact, I feel some teams will likely be good to learn this e-book. They’re policymakers, directors, my fellow docs, medical college students, teachers, legal professionals and reporters. This will likely be a must-read for anybody within the Korean healthcare system. On this subject, that is the one “English textual content” obtainable. I hope folks can take pleasure in studying my e-book.
Jaeyoung Park, writer of the e-book “Incomplete Miracle: Gentle and Shadow of the Korean Healthcare System,” speaks throughout an interview with Korea Biomedical Evaluation.
The duvet of the e-book “Incomplete Miracle: Gentle and Shadow of the Korean Well being System” (Credit score: Jaeyoung Park)