South Korean gov’t announces pilot program to allow tertiary general hospitals to focus more on critical patients

South Korean gov’t announces pilot program to allow tertiary general hospitals to focus more on critical patients
Photo credit: Yonhap

The government said Thursday it plans to launch a pilot program to enable tertiary general hospitals to focus more on critical and emergency patients as part of an overhaul of the country's medical system, Yonhap reports.

The government held a special committee meeting on medical reform at the government complex in Seoul and decided to implement a pilot project for restructuring tertiary general hospital operations starting in September.

General beds in tertiary general hospitals will be reduced by up to 15 percent, and the proportion of intensive care units will be increased to over 50 percent.

In return, fees for major surgeries will be significantly raised, and new fees will be introduced for on-call duties, ensuring that the more success hospitals have in treating severe cases, the more they will be compensated.

The plan aims to eliminate unnecessary competition and enhance synergy by having tertiary general hospitals handle critical and emergency patients, while neighborhood hospitals take care of mild cases.

To reduce conflicts arising from medical accidents, hospital directors will be responsible for preventing such incidents within the hospital. Additionally, a "patient representative" role will be established to assist victims of medical accidents at hospitals.

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