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President Moon promises proper reimbursements for physicians
  • By Choi Gwang-seok
  • Published 2017.12.12 14:26
  • Updated 2017.12.12 14:26
  • comments 0

President Moon Jae-in promised that the government would guarantee an appropriate level of reimbursements for medical care, assuring physicians who are raising concerns over his policy of expanding health insurance coverage, dubbed the “Mooncare.”

“I fully understand doctors’ worries about the so-called Mooncare, which will drastically enhance health insurance coverage,” the President said at a meeting with his senior secretaries at Cheong Wa Dae on Monday. “The government will sincerely listen to the medical community’s voices about improving the medical care reimbursement system.”

President Moon Jae-in pledges to guarantee appropriate medical care reimbursements, at a meeting with his senior secretaries at Cheong Wa Dae, Monday. (Credit: Cheong Wa Dae)

It is the third time Moon mentioned about guaranteeing medical reimbursements. On Aug. 9, he first pledged more payments at Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital when announcing the Mooncare, and said about it once again later.

“The purpose of enhancing health insurance coverage is to cover all necessary medical care by national health insurance,” President Moon said. “From the viewpoints of physicians, however, it means they should run the hospital with fewer reimbursements because insurance will cover more medical care,” Moon said.

So, the government will simultaneously expand health insurance coverage and improve the medical reimbursement system, he said.

Moon added that enhancing the health insurance coverage while improving the medical reimbursement system is what the medical community has been demanding.

“I would like to ask the medical community to gather ideas to improve the reimbursement system as well as drastically enhance the health insurance coverage,” he said.

The medical community welcomed Moon’s remarks but emphasized that the government should first come up with financial plans about how to finance more reimbursement for medical care.

“President Moon’s message was sincere, and politicians also acknowledge that the current reimbursement for medical care is not enough,” said Lee Pil-su, head of the Korean Medical Association’s emergency planning committee. “It will be the best if his words turn into reality, but I doubt the government has secured enough financial sources to do so,” he said.

According to Lee, the government’s fiscal plan for Mooncare worth 30.6 trillion won ($28 billion) does not include any funding plan to guarantee existing reimbursements.

“The government also cut the next year’s budget for national health insurance by 220 billion won. It should work out measures in detail how to raise financing for guaranteeing proper reimbursements,” Lee said.


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