Ministry OKs first for-profit hospital to be built in JejuThe Ministry of Health and Welfare announced on Friday that it would permit the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province to build the foreign for-profit Greenland International Hospital as early as 2017.
If the province’s health care policy deliberation committee approves the plan, the hospital can be the first for-profit hospital in Korea.
All hospitals, including foreign hospitals in Korea, are nonprofit hospitals run by nonprofit corporations that reinvest revenue for medical purposes. For-profit hospitals, on the other hand, whose priority is to profit, are run by for-profit corporations that distribute revenue to stockholders.
In October 2012, the ministry changed the regulations to permit the foundation of a for-profit hospital in eight free economic zones, including Jeju Island, only if half of the total amount of investment in a hospital comes from foreign corporations. But despite the change, the Greenland International Hospital is the first hospital to be admitted.
According to a building plan submitted by China’s Greenland Group, the four-story hospital is planned to open in March 2017 and will be located in Jeju Health Care Town in Topyeong-dong, Seogwipo. Greenland Group is a state-owned real estate development company with 50 percent of its stakes controlled by Shanghai.
With 77.8 billion won ($65.8 million) in funds, the hospital will have four departments - family medicine, internal medicine, plastic surgery and dermatology - and target long-term foreign inpatients, according to the Health Ministry.
It is expected, however, that the move could draw backlash from critics in the medical community, many of whom argue that for-profit hospitals inflate medical bills and disturb the health insurance system.
BY LEE ESTHER [email@example.com]
More in Social Affairs
Ban's NCCA proposes no diesel vehicle sales by 2035
Seoul ratchets up restrictions to curb coronavirus
People with disabilities left behind by Korea's Covid response
Seoul's distancing level ratchets up to Level 2 Tuesday