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Int J Health Plann Manage. 1996 Jul-Sep;11(3):231-52.

The role of health insurance in the growth of the private health sector in Korea.

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School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Korea.


The Korean health care system has been recognized by other countries for its rapid expansion of national health insurance. The government's policy of promoting the private sector, relying on market forces for various allocation decisions, and using the fee-for-service payment system has created a number of challenges for the Korean health system. Among these are rapid growth of health care expenditure, proliferation and duplication of medical technology, and lack of access for low-income groups due to high out-of-pocket payments for services covered by insurance. A number of recommendations are made concerning national health policy, modifying health insurance, and developing political consensus for bringing about health reform.

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