A government project to invite and cure foreigner patients of low-income families showed less-than-satisfactory performance every year, a lawmaker of the opposition Liberty Korea Party said Monday.
“Nanum (Sharing) Medical Support” is a social project that gives free medical treatments, including surgery, to poor patients from underdeveloped countries. The medical institution pays for the cost of operation while the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) covers the transportation and accommodation fees. The project is funded by revenue made from foreign patients who received treatment in Korea.
Rep. Kim Myung-yeon revealed KHIDI’s performance data from 2012 to 2016 to show the number of patients treated in Korea stagnated or fell each year.
The number of foreign patients invited to Korea and treated fell from 70 in 2015 to 25 in 2016, according to KHIDI data. The number of medical institutions participating in the project also dropped from 22 in 2013 to 12 last year.
“The Nanum medical care project is the only way to return the profits from attracting foreign patients to the international community,” Rep. Kim said. “KHIDI should persuade hospitals whose annual profits increase continually by attracting foreign patients to take part in the project actively.”
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