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Title:Health Care Financing Policies in South Korea: The Interaction of National Characteristics and Influences From More Developed Nations
Author(s):Chung, Young-Soon
Department / Program:Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Public and Social Welfare
Abstract:Over the last two decades, most developing countries have introduced health care financing programs modelled after developed nations. However, this process of technology transfer has typically not been well thought through, especially in relation to "goodness of fit" with national characteristics and traditions. In fact, some observers have argued that systems designed in Western developed nations may actually be inimical to the welfare of developing countries. In order to illuminate the interaction of national characterisitcs and modern technologies for financing health care, a comparative case study was undertaken. The evolution of public health care financing schemes in Korea was examined in light of influences from Japan and the United States; socio-economic characteristics of Korea today; the Korean political and bureaucratic structure; and Korean social welfare characteristics. Data were obtained from government and university-based reports in both Korean and English languages.
This study accounts for the late introduction (1977) in Korea of modern health care financing. Significant factors were absence of a tradition of central government responsibility for social welfare, an extended Japanese occupation (1910-45), and destabilizing effects of the Korean War (1950-53). Post war economic recession meant that high priority was given to economic development, and compulsory health care financing was ignored until 1977. Thus, national characteristics significantly affected the rate of planning.
The type of health care financing adopted in Korea was greatly affected by technology transfer from two developed nations: Japan and the United States. The benefit structure, service provision and payment method in the Korean system is quite similar to that of Japan and the United States, and emphasizes the private sector and acute care. In respect to population coverage, administration and financing, however, Korea adopted the United States scheme for a program to assist the poor (Medicaid), but followed the Japanese pattern in health insurance policy. The adoption of their models in Korea was feasible, presumably because the three countries share a capitalistic market orientation.
The study reveals that Korea, Japan and the United States share many common problems in health care financing. In Korea, however, the consequences are worsened by a lack of economic and administrative capacity. . . . (Author's abstract exceeds stipulated maximum length. Discontinued here with permission of author.) UMI
Issue Date:1984
Description:235 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8502106
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1984

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