The head of the state-run company managing national health insurance in Korea slammed the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s lack of expertise in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors.
Kim Yong-ik, president of the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS), delivered a keynote speech on “Mooncare and its implications in medical devices and pharmaceutical industries” at the Healthcare Innovation Seminar 2018, hosted by American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM) at the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, Friday.
|Kim Yong-ik (second from left), president of the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS), delivered a keynote speech on “Mooncare and its implications in medical devices and pharmaceutical industries” at the Healthcare Innovation Seminar 2018, hosted by American Chamber of Commerce in Korea (AMCHAM) at the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, Friday.|
Kim’s comments on the health ministry came after a panelist Jang Jay-young, general manager of Stryker Korea, asked what the government should do to help innovate products in the healthcare sector to be successful.
“The health and welfare ministry should drastically enhance the healthcare industry. In the long term, the ministry’s functions should be divided into three – public health, welfare, and healthcare industry. The ministry needs to boost its capacity for the healthcare industry,” Kim said.
He warned that unless the government officials increase their capacity to deal with the industry, it will not be easy to see medical devices making progress.
“To nurture the industry, the ministry has to have the expertise, but it doesn’t. Unless they know something, they can’t help anyone,” Kim said.
In his view, the government was failing to lead the trends of the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the pharmaceutical, biotech, and big data-using industries, he said.
“Rather than responding to current issues one by one, the government needs to make a long-term plan to lead the industries,” Kim added.
Kim went on to say that the NHIS was working out measures in advance to curb a steep rise in medicine costs amid population aging.
“We’re predicting that super-expensive drugs will appear and have a significant impact on the health insurance budget. I can’t comment in detail what measures we’re discussing, but I will try my best to reflect opinions from the business side,” he said.
During the seminar, Kim attended the plenary session with AMCHAM Korea Chairman & CEO James Kim and Pfizer Korea Country Manager Oh Dong-wook.
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