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MOHW gave a policy briefing to the President

  • Date : 2022-08-30
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MOHW gave a policy briefing to the President
보건복지부 새 정부 업무계획 보고

RESS RELEASE

AUG 19, 2022

The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) gave a policy briefing to the President of the Republic of Korea on August 19 (Fri.).

MOHW plans to focus on the following six key policy areas to ensure thorough and robust protection of socially vulnerable groups and to improve the quality of life and health for all.

1. Thorough and robust protection of vulnerable groups

➊ Protecting low-income households from economic instability and unexpected crises

➋ Customized support for different groups and response to new welfare needs

➌ Reducing blinds spots in welfare and preventing budget leaks

2. Innovation for investment in welfare for a virtuous cycle of welfare and growth

➊ Development and provision of social services for all

➋ Enhancing preventive and preemptive investments for future budget reduction

➌ Expanding support for work-life balance in response to the decreasing birth rate

3. Improving sustainability of welfare

➊ National pension reform for all stakeholders

➋ Building a system for integrated management of social security scheme for a greater efficiency in welfare spending

4. Precise, targeted response to COVID-19

➊ Preemptive infection prevention for more susceptible facilities

➋ Rapid testing and prescriptions for high-risk groups

➌ Intensive care for patients with severe symptoms and prompt response for emergency patients such as children and pregnant women

➍ Reinforced public communication

5. Expansion of public healthcare for the protection of lives and measures for medically underserved areas

➊ Reinforcement of the institutional foundation for public healthcare, such as support for the operation of healthcare infrastructure at private healthcare providers through National Health Insurance

➋ Advancement of pandemic preparedness and response capacity

➌ Expansion of the coverage of public healthcare through National Health Insurance expenditure reform

6. Policy support for global biohealth leadership

➊ Development of technology for achieving healthcare security

➋ Revitalization of related industries by boosting investments and easing regulations

➌ Acceleration of digital transformation in the healthcare field

➍ Biohealth hub for global cooperation

MOHW Policy Briefing

2022. 8. 18.

1. Thorough, robust protection of vulnerable groups

◈ Socially vulnerable groups are hit hardest by the deepening economic polarization and global economic retraction
⇨ Through, concrete support will be provided to lessen the financial burden and improve the quality of life for vulnerable groups

➊ Protecting low-income households from economic instability and emergencies

- (Livelihood support) The biggest ever increase made to the standard median income (by 5.47% in 2023), which serves as criteria for 76 support programs → Secure necessary budgets and gradually increase the percentage of livelihood benefit (cost of living assistance) from 30% of median income to 35% of median income, announced in the 2023 roadmap.

- (Emergency response) Expanding recipients and scale of support provided for catastrophic health expenditure (excessive cost compared to one’s income), and increaseing the amount of emergency welfare (for household at risk of job loss) from 1.3 million won to 1.54 million won for four-member household as of July 2022.

➋ Enhancing customized support for vulnerable groups and responding to new welfare needs

- (Persons with disabilities) Customizing care support by disability type and adopting a “personal budget“ for a comprehensive support and strengthened user choice (Pilot program due in 2024)

- (Children and the elderly) New cash support for protection of child due for adoption (monthly 1 million won as of July 2022); increasing school meals for children at risk of hunger (from 7,000 won to 8,000 won in 2023), gradual reorganization and improvement of senior jobs (Expanding market-friendly and social-service jobs, and improve on public interest job programs to the ones with higher public value)

- (New welfare needs) More support to be provided to young people, including care leavers, young carers, and socially isolated persons; Enhanced response to lonely deaths and adoption of sickness benefit

➌ Improving the perceived level of and trust in welfare services by reducing blind spots and budget leaks

- (Reducing blind spots) Big-data-based discovery of households at risk (Expand risk types from 34 to 39 as of September 2022), Expanding ’Welfare Membership’ program to all citizens as of September 2022, which provides advanced notice of the types of benefit support available to each individual.

- (Preventing of budget leaks) AI monitoring through the ’Next Generation Social Security Information System’ (Ministry of Health and Welfare) and ’Nara Doum’ (Ministry of Economy and Finance) → Strengthened on-site investigation into suspected cases of fraud (as of May 2022)

2. Innovation for investment in welfare for a virtuous cycle of welfare and growth

◈ Diminishing financial capacity due to the reduction in working-age population and growth potential despite continually rising welfare needs

⇨ Facilitating a virtuous cycle of welfare and growth through forward-looking investment innovation

➊ Development and provision of social services for all

- (Identifying needs) Meeting new social service needs by developing social services that meet everyday needs*, advancing existing services, and providing differentiated support based on one’s ability to pay

* Such as housekeeping, hospital visit support, psychological counseling for households in need

- (Expanding supply) Establishing a quality delivery system by mobilizing technologies and resources in the private sector, promoting participation of the private sector through regulatory reforms, and advancing technologies in social services (smart R&D)

- (Groundwork for innovation) Laying the groundwork for social service innovation through the restructuring of the Korea Cental Public Agency for Social Service → Creating a social service ecosystem and quality jobs

➋ Enhancing preventive and preemptive investments for future budget reduction

- (Connecting residential care for the elderly with medical services) Introducing integrated evaluation of residential care-medical services and the at-home medical care center system to help the elderly receive necessary care in their respective local communities

- (Health management investment) Implementing ICT-based preventive management of chronic diseases (2023) and introducing mental health checkups for all (reducing the checkup interval from 10 years to 2-3 years by 2024 and adding more items to the mental health checkup such as mood disorder and schizophrenia)

➌ Providing comprehensive assistance for work-family balance to alleviate low fertility rate

- (Bold investments on family) Supporting families experiencing temporary financial hardships due to childbirth and infant-care by introducing the new parental benefit as well as enhancing existing child allowance scheme

- (Better and sufficient childcare) Improving quality and quantity of childcare and early-education to sufficient level, by gradual integration of currently separated daycare (managed by the Ministry of Health and Welfare) and preschool (managed by the Ministry of Education) systems

Reform of the National Population Policy Governing Body: Reforming the presidential committee on ageing society and population policy by strengthening its authority as the population policy control-tower to promote work-family balance policies, raise population awareness, and mitigate diverse population issues including low-fertility, aging, and sustainability of the nation.

3. Improving sustainability of welfare services

◈ Rising needs for effective management of social insurance and social security programs

⇨ Ensure sustainability and earn public trust through institutional reforms

➊ National Pension reform for all stakeholders

- (Financial assessment) Financial assessment in August for a public consensus for pension reforms and discussion during the session of the National Assembly’s special committee until April 2023

- (Parametric reforms) National Pension reform plan to be submitted to the National Assembly, reflecting the discussion of the special committee and consistent with increase in the basic pension from 300,000 won to 400,000 won

- (Structural reforms) Promoting discussions on structural reforms, such as the integration with occupational pensions, led by the special committee considering complex interests

➋ Building a system for integrated management of social security scheme for a greater efficiency in welfare spending

- (Database building) Establishing a database through a comprehensive review of welfare programs in national and local authorities (from 2023) and collecting a user-centered social security administration (as of September 2022)

- (Strengthened prior consultation) Pre-assessment of welfare program by the Social Security Committee (reviewing new project feasibility studies, etc.) → Ensuring program effectiveness and preventing redundancy or missing of essential programs

- (Analysis and assessment of the system) Data-based outcome analyses for all welfare programs → Improvement of program quality and subsequent monitoring starting in the latter half of 2023

4. COVID-19 response : Precise, targeted response

◈ Time for a change in policy direction based on the past 2 years and 7 months of COVID-19 response experience, accumulated data, availability of vaccines and treatments, and healthcare capacity

⇨ Precise, targeted COVID-19 response focusing on vulnerable areas while maintaining daily normal for the general public

➊ (Prevention) Taking preventive measures for facilities susceptible to infection with higher frequencies of occurrence of confirmed cases

- (Distancing) Implementing targeted distancing measures such as visit restrictions and leave of absence bans at facilities susceptible to mass outbreak such as sanatoriums based on experiences and data

- (Preemptive testing) Expanding preemptive testing for employees of sanatoriums (twice a week for symptomatic employees) and promptly providing treatment for elderly confirmed cases, etc. → Preventing the development of severe conditions and cluster infections

- (Environment improvement) Developing ventilation standards to prevent infection and supporting facility renovation for resolving the density of patient beds, etc., through on-site investigations of mental hospitals and facilities

➋ (Testing and prescriptions) Enabling rapid testing and prescriptions for high-risk groups that are likely to develop severe conditions

- (One-stop service) Securing 10,002 healthcare providers that offer one-stop service from testing to diagnosis and prescription (August 19) to complete treatment prescriptions for high-risk groups (elderly, etc.) within one day (fast-track service)

- (Rapid prescriptions) Enabling outpatient prescriptions at community hospitals so that patients can receive prescriptions in a prompt manner at nearby hospitals and expanding the number of pharmacies dispensing medication (1,082 as of July 27 → 2,175 as of August 19)

* Additionally purchasing oral treatments for COVID-19 for 942,000 patients (2.004 million patients in total) and reinforcing inventory monitoring at public health centers and pharmacies

- (Testing institutions) Enabling the easy search of screening stations (602 locations) and temporary testing stations (63 locations) via Naver, etc., and expanding their operations on weekends and at night

➌ (Hospitalization) Providing intensive care for severe cases and rapidly responding to emergency patients including pediatric patients and delivery patients

- (Designated beds) Securing 1,902 additional beds by administrative order following the announcement of COVID-19 resurgence measures (July 20) and realizing the capacity to accommodate up to 210,000 confirmed cases with the current number of beds standing at 7,245(August 19)

- (Beds for general patients) Providing integrated isolated treatment fees (KRW 540,000 for non-severe cases and KRW 1.08 million for severe cases) to hospitals accommodating COVID-19 patients in beds for general patients in addition to designated beds

Securing the capacity to stably respond to the occurrence of more than 210,000 confirmed cases by utilizing designated beds and beds for general patients

- (Beds for children) Securing beds reserved exclusively for pediatric patients considering the high likelihood of pediatric patients abruptly developing severe conditions within 1-2 days after being confirmed as positive (246 beds as of the end of June → 2,727 beds as of August 19)

- (Childbirth and dialysis) Designating 355 beds (August 19) dedicated to delivery patients (additional National Health Insurance support of 300%) and 493 beds (August 19) dedicated to dialysis patients (additional National Health Insurance support of 200%)

※ Planning to secure 1,700 more emergency beds dedicated to patients with infectious diseases at all times for emergency treatment (2023) to bring the total to 2,317 (617 beds in 2022 + 1,700 beds in 2023)

- (Emergency patients) Installing a hotline connecting 119 paramedics, emergency centers, and inpatient wards and improving the accuracy of the real-time emergency center status alert system (“Emergency Care at a Glance”) for effective and prompt response

➍ (Communication) Enhancing public trust through reinforced communication

- Appointing the Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee on Infectious Disease Crisis Response as the Special Response Center Head of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters and delivering regular briefings (every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) through COVID-19 TV

- Operating the central-local medical council in collaboration with metropolitan city and provincial Medical Associations to reinforce communication with the medical circles (August 17)

5. Expanding essential medical care and preparing measures for medically vulnerable areas

◈ Focused investment in essential medical care*
⇨ Raising additional fee for public policy, improving systems and infrastructure and securing personnel to ensure timely provision of essential medical services

※ Essential medical care refers to medical care that needs to be provided urgently to prevent life-threatening situation or medical care with limited access due to a low demand

➊ Reinforcement of the institutional foundation for public healthcare, such as support for the operation of healthcare infrastructure at private healthcare providers through National Health Insurance

(1) Raise additional fee for public policy for unpopular fields such as cerebral aneurysm craniotomy and reduced-demand fields such as labor and delivery, to restore medical infrastructure and improve quality of medical care

- (Severe/emergency surgery) Strengthen appropriate compensation for high-risk, high-difficulty operations, emergency operations

* Surgeries such as aortic dissection, heart, or brain surgery, which are avoided due to low frequency and high risk

- (Labor and delivery) Restoration of infrastructure for labor and birth by raising health insurance additional fee for public policy for childbirth and supporting vulnerable areas

(2) (Systems and infrastructure) Evaluation and reinforcement of compensation for essential medical care services incurring deficit and strengthening infrastructure

- ▴ (Pediatric) Introduce a compensation system through evaluation even in case of deficit such as for children’s hospitals, ▴(ICU) Encourage more staffing in intensive care units via systems reform such as ‘nursing management rating fee’ criterion ▴ (Infectious diseases) More beds and personnel and compensation for infectious diseases

(3) (Health workers) Support for training healthcare workers at each stage (medical school, residency, specialist) centered on essential medical care

- (Education and training) Expansion of practical training for medical students in special fields such as trauma, pediatric cardiology, and infectious diseases as well as residency training in rural areas (starting 2023), expansion of support for training nurses to specialize in critically-ill patient care

➋ Infectious disease response capacity

- (Central) Open a central infectious disease hospital with 150 negative pressure units (by 2027) as central control tower for epidemic response, advancing the system for treating novel infectious diseases

* Samsung Group donated 700 billion won (April 2021) to the National Medical Center for the establishment and research of the world’s best infectious disease hospital

- (Local areas) Regional infectious disease hospitals (5 hospitals), regional (17) and local (70) responsible hospitals and clinics, regional medical centers to be newly built (5) or expanded (7), etc., to strengthen support for healthcare-vulnerable areas

➌ Expanding the coverage of basic healthcare services through National Health Insurance expenditure bold reforms

- (Expenditure reforms) Thoroughly reassessing existing covered items, such as sonogram and MRI, which are subjects of controversy over the excessive use; improving the criteria for non-Korean dependents of the insured; and expanding the coverage for basic medical care and high-priced medications* by preventing those who are ineligible from accessing National Health Insurance services

* Pushing ahead with the rapid registration of high-priced essential medications for expanded coverage [ZOLGENSMA (KRW 1.98 billion) and KYMRIAH (KRW 360 million) successfully registered]

- (Financial management) The phase 2 imposition system realignment (September 2022) aimed at reducing the insurance premiums of self-employed subscribers

6. Global biohealth leadership

◈ Focus on biohealth industry in a new normal era with constant epidemic risk and global economic landscape of low growth

⇨ Biohealth industry as next-generation driver of growth (‘next semiconductor’), playing an important role in health security and economic and job growth

➊ Focused support for securing technology for health security

- (Core technology) Priority support for development of vaccine candidates for COVID-19 (6 companies) and diseases with high epidemic risk

* Focused support for securing core technologies for pandemic response, e.g. mRNA platforms, antivirals, universal vaccines

- (Research and development) Expanding research and development to help solve health security and other major challenges (Target 1 trillion won by 2025)

➋ Promoting industry investment and regulatory improvement

- (Expand investment) Expanding public and private investment including attracting investment from global and domestic companies and forming Biotechnology-Vaccine Fund.

- (Regulatory improvement) Renewal of system for innovative medical devices (~’22), Biohealth regulation innovation roadmap*(~’22.10), and other ways to improve business environment

➌ Utilizing existing healthcare data to strengthen digitalization of healthcare

- (Big data) Building ‘national integrated bio big data’, which serves as a key infrastructure for the development of next-generation treatments such as advanced biopharmaceuticals and precision medicine
(Goal of 1 million data pieces, applying for preliminary feasibility study in September 2022)

- (My Data) Building ‘PHR highway’ for safe handling and tailored utilization of personal health records (to be opened in early 2023)

➍ Biohealth hub for global cooperation

- Expanding global partnership, including hosting the Global Training Hub for Biomanufacturing (WHO-designated), hosting World Bio Summit*
(Oct. 2022), and R&D collaboration with Gates Foundation and CEPI

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