Korea’s Healthcare Privatization and Korea Health & Medical Worker's Union's (KHMU) Fight Against It
<1> Major Problems in Korea's Healthcare System
l As of 2010, 81,681 healthcare institutions existed, a 32.2% increase since 2000. Over the past decade, competitions for patients intensified with the increased capacity and the expensive medical instruments used in large hospitals.
l Public hospitals account for 5.6% of total healthcare institutions and for 10.4% of total sick-beds. i.e., approximately 90% of the sick-beds are in private hospitals (the OECD average of public sick-beds is 75%).
l All Koreans have national health insurance; however, it only covers 62% of total medical costs. The remaining 38% and other non-covered medical expenses, including optional treatment cost and nursing service fee must be paid by the patient.
l Besides national health insurance, 78% of all households are signed up for 3.6 private insurance plans at average
l The hospital workforce falls short of the number needed. The number of nurses is only one third of the OECD average.
l Due to working shifts and workforce shortages, only 100,000 nurses work at medical institutions (Korea has 270,000 licensed nurses).
l The number of CTs, MRIs, PETs and other high-priced medical equipment ranks lower than the OECD average.
Profit-making is prohibited even in private hospitals. For-profit hospitals were illegal, but now they are allowed within the limits of the Free Economic Zone.
See the attached file.