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Health-welfare spending in 2018 grows 9.5%
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2017.12.07 19:04
  • Updated 2017.12.07 19:04
  • comments 0

The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s budget for 2018 has been set at 63.1 trillion won ($57.2 billion), an increase of 9.5 percent from this year, officials said Wednesday.

Spending to implement the sharply expanded health insurance plan that covers all treatments aside from cosmetic surgery, dubbed the Moon Jae-in Care, or “Mooncare,” was set at 5.2 trillion won – a cut of 200 billion won from the government’s initial outlay of 5.4 trillion won.

Source: Ministry of Health and Welfare

On the other hand, the final budget bill has set aside 60.1 billion won to improving trauma centers, a drastic increase of 20.1 billion won from the ministry’s plan. The increased allocation of funds stems primarily from public outcry at the state of trauma centers brought to light by Lee Cook-jong, the physician who treated the North Korean defector last month.

For similar purposes, the budget has allotted 1.1 billion to a new emergency medical helicopter.

According to the budget bill, support for long-term care insurance for the elderly increased 805.8 billion won, an increase of 82 billion won from the plan submitted by the ministry.

Funds for establishing dementia management systems for the 47 existing facilities increased 22.6 billion won while the subsidies for opening Alzheimer’s centers by local governments was slashed by 110 billion won based on findings from a government survey, resulting in an overall cut of 87.4 billion won, the ministry said.

Money to develop technology for dementia care were also cut by 1.87 billion won to 7.94 billion won to ensure balance with investments in other fields such as prevention, treatment, and care of dementia, the ministry said.

The final bill also increased the budget for creating a bio-health technology business ecosystem to 4.99 billion won, an increase of 1.4 billion won from the ministry’s submission. It also raised the outlay to strengthen the competitiveness of medical device industry to 4.84 billion won from the 4.64 billion won submitted by the ministry.

The budget for supporting medical system exports was readjusted to 10.3 billion won, down 1.1 billion won from the ministry’s plan. The budget for creating a health big data platform was also cut 3.1 billion won to 8.3 billion won.


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