Health care conflictsDaegu, the country’s fourth-largest city, and Osong, North Chungcheong, have been tapped to house two new complexes for biotechnology and health care services.
The government hopes the high-tech project will serve not only as an incubator for domestic health care technology, but will also become a future source of revenue from foreign patients. To achieve these goals, the government should do its best to handle related matters.
Despite the expectations for the project’s success, the complaints and suspicions surrounding the selection process have left plenty of room for doubt.
First of all, the government caused confusion and anger among the cities bidding for the project when it chose two cities instead of one. It claims that its decision was made at the recommendation of experts who said the two-city option was safer.
Nevertheless, there are lingering questions about the political motives behind the decision.
The cities that dropped out of the race are upset about their failure to win the bid and have lodged complaints about the bidding procedure.
The government’s decision to choose two cities could ultimately become a waste of money and resources. It is likely that one of the two cities will spend a fortune, only to have wasted its time and efforts if it is eliminated in the end.
In addition, the country already has a medical services research district in the Daeduk District of Daejeon and a medical-equipment cluster in Wonju, both of which could conflict with the new developments.
Health and Welfare Minister Jeon Jae-hee argues the competitive bidding is more efficient and improves the quality of the project proposals. However, her explanation is unlikely to satisfy the cities that lost their bids.
The government needs to come up with alternative uses for the facilities of the unsuccessful cities so that their investments will not go to waste. It also needs to provide a reasonable solution for the complaints of the unsuccessful bidders.
More importantly, the government should not initiate major local projects in the future. Local governments should be the ones to devise projects to attract investment for their regions. Then they could seek the support of the central government.
In that way, local governments won’t be wasting energy and resources fighting among themselves.