OECD Economics Department Working Papers

ISSN: 
1815-1973 (online)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/18151973
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Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

 

Health-Care Reform in Korea You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
Randall S. Jones1
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

02 July 2010
Bibliographic information
No.:
797
Pages:
34
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5kmbhk53x7nt-en

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Korea’s health-care system has contributed to the marked improvement in health conditions, while limiting spending to one of the lowest levels in the OECD through high patient co-payments and limited coverage of public health insurance. However, spending is now increasing at the fastest rate in the OECD. With continued upward pressure, not least from rapid population ageing, it is essential to boost efficiency by reforming the payment system, reducing drug expenditures, shifting long-term care out of hospitals, promoting healthy ageing and introducing gatekeepers. As the heavy reliance on social insurance payments for health will be an increasing drag on employment as the population ages, it is necessary to raise the share of tax-based financing in conjunction with effective measures to keep spending in check. Measures to ensure adequate access for low-income households are a priority given the high out-of-pocket payments. Quality should be improved by enhancing transparency, promoting restructuring in the hospital sector and expanding the number of doctors.
Keywords:
financing health care, medical expenditures, Korean health care, generic drugs, integration reform, diagnosis related groups, National Health Insurance, private health insurance, long-term care, hospitals, Separation Reform, physicians, healthy ageing, co-payments, pharmaceutical drugs
JEL Classification:
  • I1: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health
 
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