The Jeju Province is likely to decide whether to approve the launch of Greenland Hospital, Korea’s first for-profit foreign medical institution, in late September.
According to the hospital’s application for approval, Chinese Greenland Group invested 77.8 billion won ($6.9 million) in total -- 66.8 billion won for land purchase and construction, and 11 billion won for operation.
The three-story building with 47 wards has been already built on the land of 28,163 m2 in Topyeongdong Healthcare Town in Seogwipo on Jeju Island.
The Greenland Hospital has set up four divisions for plastic surgery, dermatology, internal medicine and family medicine, with 134 employees including nine doctors, one pharmacist, 31 nurses. The hospital is waiting for the final approval.
“A committee on healthcare policy review of the Jeju Province will help us make the decision. We will reflect their opinion as much as possible," an official at healthcare division of the Jeju Province told the Korea Biomedical Review.
He said the committee is composed of 17 people recommended from medical institutions and civil organizations.
“Because the terms of current committee members expire on Sep. 6, a new committee will be in charge of the decision on Greenland Hospital. So, the decision will be available in late September.” the official said.
"The application submitted by the Greenland Hospital meets the ordinance of a healthcare special law of the Jeju island and requirements of 2015 business plan by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW). The law requires the hospital to hire more than 60 percent of employees with Jeju residents and the hospital hired 80 percent with local people,” the official added.
The Greenland Hospital met the criteria that it should be a limited liability hospital. It also met the condition that foreign investment should exceed 50 percent of the total amount of investment at the time of 2015 approval by the ministry, by securing 21 billion won from foreign capitals.
Foreigners made 100 percent investment in buying the land and equipment for 66 billion won and spending 11 billion won in labor costs.
“The building has already been completed and the hospital hired people. People who opposed to the Greenland Hospital said the opening of such for-profit hospital would damage the national health insurance system but their argument doesn’t make sense,” the official said.
Meanwhile, the ministry that approved the plan to build the Greenland Hospital in 2015 said it would continue to monitor the issue even though it does not have the authorities to make a decision over its opening.
“Because the ministry has already approved it in 2015, it can’t do anything. It will just ask the Jeju Province to check whether they approved as the ministry had approved,” said an official of the medical organization policy division at the ministry.
“We can’t cancel the approved plan. The Jeju Province will make the decision, but we will keep monitoring about how the processes are going.”
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