Hospital for Kaesong in the works

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Hospital for Kaesong in the works

An inter-Korean foundation overseeing the Kaesong Industrial Complex yesterday said that it will found a contract-managed emergency hospital for South Korean workers in the complex, as part of efforts to revitalize stalled business in the cross-border business region.

The Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee convened a briefing session in central Seoul yesterday and said it is now seeking a trustee for an emergency hospital. About 10 medical foundations attended the presentation.

Currently, roughly 700 South Korean workers are residing in the complex, but there is only one hospital, the Green Doctor’s Kaesong Hospital, a first-aid medical care center run by volunteers. The non-profit hospital can’t handle critical patients and usually sends them to distant hospitals in the South, triggering demands for a hospital running 24 hours a day for South Korean workers in the area.

“Lawmakers have pointed out the lack of a hospital for South Korean workers in the complex at the National Assembly, and so did former Grand National Party chairman Hong Joon-pyo,” Kim Seok-jo, a Unification Ministry official, told the Korea JoongAng Daily.

“The new hospital will treat South Korean patients only because it’s a rule in the complex. North Korea also has its own hospital dealing only with people from the North.”

South Korea’s Unification Ministry yesterday said it has already allotted 2.66 billion won ($2.3 million) for the hospital project. The ministry said it will remodel the current annex building of the committee into the hospital, which is 1,487 square meters (16,005 square feet).

By Kim Hee-jin []

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