Parliament Launches Debate on Whether to Grant NHIS Authority to Probe Illegal Practices
Bill submitted by Rep. Song of MPK would award NHIS executives and staff members with the power to investigate alleged illegal medical institutions and pharmacies
Rep. Song Ki-hyun of the ruling Minju Party of Korea speaks at a parliamentary session in which he submitted to the National Assembly a measure to award NHIS executives and staff members with an authority to investigate into illegal medical institutions and pharmacies.
A parliamentary bill deliberation subcommittee began debating whether to grant the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) the power to police suspected wrongdoing at hospitals owned by illegitimate persons and the practice of lending out of pharmacist licenses.
Rep. Song Ki-hun of the ruling Minju Party of Korea submitted a measure to the National Assembly in December to award NHIS executives and staff members the authority to investigate illegal medical institutions and pharmacies.
NHIS said it expects parliamentary approval for the bill since the authority would represent the sole means of cracking down on illegitimate office manager-operated clinics.
The Justice Ministry, NHIS, the Korean Pharmaceutical Association and the Korea Dental Association are joining forces to support the bill. But organizations such as the Korean Medical Association and the Korean Hospital Association are opposed to the measure.
President Kim Yong-ik of the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) poses with Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, who toured NHIS headquarters in Wonju, Gangwon-do, on March 18 to learn from Korea’s operation of a health insurance system. (Photos: NHIS)
Vietnamese Health Minister Visit NHIS to Learn from Korean Health Insurance Regime
Ranking Vietnamese officials, including Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, toured NHIS headquarters in Wonju, Gangwon-do, on March 18 to take a cue from Korea’s well-run health insurance system. Vietnam is the first country to effectively copy Korea’s health insurance regime.
NHIS implemented a project in November 2011to ramp up Vietnam’s capabilities to build a health insurance system.
The project was carried out as part of NHIS’s policy cooperation program on health insurance. NHIS transferred knowhow on the operation of the Korean health insurance system so that the Vietnamese government can achieve the full coverage of a health insurance system in a more efficient fashion by making the most of the experiences Korea has obtained from the operation of the health insurance regime.
Vietnam introduced a social security insurance system in keeping with Doi Moi, Vietnamese economic reforms. As to problems, caused by the introduction of the insurance system and the strengthening of bigger access to medical services, Vietnam showed a keen interest in Korea’s experiences. The Southeast Asian country expressed a greater concern over things such as health insurance ICT and big data.
NHIS President Kim Hong-ik said KHNIS plans to expand diverse support and cooperation to reform the Vietnamese health insurance regime. South Korea needs to learn from an example of Vietnamese reform so as to promote cooperation in health insurance with North Korea, he added.