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South Korea: An interesting case to study

Soonman K, Busse R
Health Policy 120(10); DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2016.06.002




South Korea, a country which has seen a remarkable development, both economically but also in respect to its health system and health services research. A low-income country barely 50 years ago, it started to embark on a journey to achieve universal health coverage 40 years ago in 1977 - and achieved it only 12 years later in 1989. Rapid economic growth and political commitment of the government for political legitimacy contributed to the rapid achievement of the universal health coverage. In 2000, more than 350 health insurance funds were all merged into a single insurer system, which increased the pooling and purchasing capacity of the health insurance system. The single insurance pool has also provided a big database of national health insurance system, connecting the entire population and all health care providers. 

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