The Ministry of Unification will pay for the treatment of the North Korean soldier who got intensive treatment at Ajou University Hospital in November after he was shot while defecting to South Korea through the Joint Security Area (JSA).
|Ministry of Unification spokesperson Baik Tae-hyun announces a plan to pay for the treatment cost of the North Korean defector at a regular briefing Wednesday.|
The total cost of medical treatment will be around 65 million won ($60,000), the ministry said.
The unification ministry will foot 25 million won, and the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service will pay the remaining 40 million won to Ajou University Hospital where the soldier was treated, it said.
The North Korean soldier is eligible for medical care according to the Medical Care Assistance Act, which provides medical benefits to indigent people and refugees, according to the ministry’s spokesperson, Baik Tae-hyun.
“As a result of consultations between relevant agencies, the unification ministry will pay the medical bill for the North Korean soldier’s treatment at the private hospital. The payment will be made today,” Baik said at a news briefing.
The decision to pay the bill is based on the law related to the protection and settlement support of North Korean refugees, following consultations with related agencies. North Korean refugees are eligible for medical care assistance according to the Medical Care Assistance Act, he said.
“The 100 million won bill, previously reported by the media, is a cost estimate for treatment uncovered by medical insurance. We arrived at the new total by retroactively calculating medical insurance” Baik added.
In a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, the government also decided to pay for the previous treatment at the same hospital of a ship captain who was shot by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
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