Estimating financial loss to medical clinics resulting from the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak in Korea

Kyung Hwa Seo, Seok Yeong Kim, Jae Wook Choi, Jung Chan Lee, Kye Hyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Korea experienced an unprecedented national level disaster caused by the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in the first half of 2015. Because of the secretiveness of the government and the insufficiency of the nation's quarantine system, Korea could not effectively respond to the MERS coronavirus (CoV) outbreak. Many people suffered huge losses across most sectors, and medical clinics were no exception. Now the Korean Government and many professionals are discussing the matter of compensation. This study aimed to provide evidence for the necessity of compensation support. We conducted a questionnaire survey of the level of economic damage over the course of a month. The financial loss rate of medical clinics that experienced MERS damage has decreased by more than half over the previous year. The total financial loss of 48 medical clinics was about 1.6 billion Korean won (KRW) based on insurance benefits and 3.4 billion KRW based on sales. Due to the spreading of the MERS-CoV outbreak after May 20, 2015 in Korea, the loss rate in June was much higher than that in May or July. In July, the financial position tended to be restored to more than half of that in June but had not fully recovered to the level prior to the MERS-CoV outbreak. As most of the population, including professionals, perceive that the government is liable for damages from the MERS-CoV outbreak, the authorities concerned should prepare a compensation and redress plan. Furthermore, we expect our study to be used as good evidence for a redress plan for medical clinics damaged by the MERS-CoV outbreak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1178
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinics
  • Commerce
  • Compensation and redress
  • Coronavirus infections
  • Insurance benefits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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