The experiences of system integration countries informing the potential unification of the Korean peninsula's healthcare system

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A "system integration country" is defined as the political unification to a single national system of a country divided for a certain period of time such as Germany, Yemen, and Vietnam. Vietnam is moving to adopt the South Korean health insurance system. The process by which the Vietnamese healthcare insurance system is introduced should be applied to establishing the North Korean healthcare system after the future unification of the Korean peninsula. Yemen's political instability has resulted in poor health care indicators. Before the unification of Germany, an agreement regarding healthcare was formed and vigorous mutual exchanges of health care issues occurred. Political unification is not in itself a perfect solution for health care issues. We must make thorough preparations and develop strategies for an upcoming integration of healthcare systems. Like the experience of the unified Germany, humanitarian exchanges and cooperation of public healthcare issues should continue. A unified Korea will be confronted with many hardships, especially in health care. Therefore, a practical plan for the healthcare system before and after the unification of the Korean peninsula is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-393
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May 1



  • Healthcare system of unified korea
  • System integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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