KMA caves in on fixed-rate system

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KMA caves in on fixed-rate system

The Korean Medical Association (KMA) backtracked yesterday and accepted the government’s move to enforce a fixed-rate system for seven medical treatments, including appendectomies and operations for hernias.

It also said it will call off its previous strike plan that would have seen it refuse to carry out operations.

“We tentatively accept the government’s enforcement of a flat-rate system on seven illnesses and disorders,” said Roh Hwan-kyu, chairman of the KMA, during a press conference at the association’s headquarters in Ichon-dong, central Seoul.

The fixed-rate system, which is due to take effect next month, is based on a diagnosis-related group (DRG).

When the government announced its plan earlier this month, doctors including obstetricians, orthopedic surgeons and otolaryngologists opposed it as it would eat into their earnings.

The government wants to introduce the system to avoid doctors from excessively prescribing the treatments, as well as to reduce spending on national health insurance.

By Lee Eun-joo []

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