Concern for the health of the people in Korea is, of course,
nothing new. What is new is the extent of the awareness that
health is one of the important dimensions of national progress
and that its improvement requires a concerted effort in all areas
of development. Health development policies are mow being
pursued as part of a broad socio-economic development program
designed to improve the general we welfare of the people.
A new national health planning strategy was incorporated in
the inauguration in 1975 of a USAID-supported low-cost health
delivery demonstration project in three remote rural communities.
The enactment in 1976 of the medical assistance program for the
poor and the national medical insurance scheme for the general
population represents a decisive landmark in the history of
Korea`s social legislation. Other recent developments include
modernization of dilapidated municipal and provincial hospitals
and a government-sponsored program for constructing privately
-owned hospitals in rural areas. In order to provide better health
services to expectant mothers and infants, the government has
recently set up long-term plans for promotion of maternal and
child health. The ultimate objective of these sector planning
efforts is to provide access to adequate medical care for the
entire population, regardless of income, age, or place of
residence. A related objective is the provision of quality medical
care with reasonable efficiency.