Securing Adequate Funds for National Health Insurance
Legislators initiate debate on policies to secure funding sources to wipe out deficits in national health insurance
A forum on securing funds for health insurance took place on March 8 at the conference room of the National Assembly initiated jointly by Reps. Lee Sang-deuk and Yoon Sok-yong.
The event dealt mainly with government support policies to secure enough funds for the National Health Insurance with a number of invited speakers presenting their papers.
Rep. Yoon at the opening of the forum said he is very glad to see a discussion taking place on the means to find a sound financial base for the continuous development of national health insurance. Everyone wants to live a healthy life, he said, and in order to meet the expectation, the health insurance system was set up to provide health insurance coverage to all people under the understanding that individuals are no longer solely responsible for their health care.
National health insurance has become a key factor for everyone in the country, not only for the poor. As the National Health Insurance Corp. has been promising to upgrade people's health all over the country and guarantee social improvements by operating the national health insurance system, it is a national task to be dealt with in detail using the utmost care.
To make medical services easily accessible to people suffering from sudden diseases and accidents through an expanded health insurance guarantee is an issue that should be resolved by our society. To seek stable management of financial resources to maintain healthy lives is an issue that must be solved by all of us.
Rep. Lee, in his opening speech at the event, said he would like to thank everyone for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend the meeting. "We have entered the age of low-birth rate and an aged society and the National Health Insurance has become one of the most important areas of government operation as it is a key factor for maintaining the health of the people," he said.
He said health bills have been rising as old people are increasingly affected by chronic diseases, which is becoming a social problem, especially for individual patients who cannot afford to pay their high medical bills.
For those poor families living in the dead corners where the social safety net cannot reach, problems become desperate and the need for social welfare increases for those families.
"Thus, in order to jump over the rough hills called the national health guarantee, we should be able to maintain the national health by continuing to securing enough funds for health insurance, which would be a wise investment for both the future and now," he continued. "We have to secure stable funds for national health to guarantee the people's health rights and reduce social costs that would otherwise increase uncontrollably."
He said individuals cannot be called on to take care of their medical bills. This forum would be able to take up various issues related to building an environment in which all the people would be able to get health consultations through the stable management of national health insurance.
President Chung Hyung-gun of the NHIC said in his opening speech that he would like to thank Representatives Lee Sang-deuk and Yoon Sok-yong of the ruling Grand National Party for taking the initiative to hold this forum.
The ultimate purpose of the national health insurance is to upgrade the health conditions for all people and expand the social safety net to boost the quality of life, he said.
In order to bring that about, he spelled out his management ideal that the national health insurance should be a strong base to back up the social safety net so that people would not have to suffer pain from all kinds of diseases. To ensure that national health insurance is a strong guarantor of public health like those of advanced countries, everyone working for the NHIC should be reborn in their efforts to make keeping people healthy and happy as the highest goal in their careers.
Chung said securing stable funding sources is one of the most acute tasks for the NHIC. This year, the NHIC is faced with deficits as the insurance premium has been reduced due to a shortfall in premium increases compared to insurance payouts, which is why the forum on funding sources for national health insurance is very timely in view of the critical importance of the issue.
He is sure, he said, various ideas hatched at the forum will be of great help in securing diversified funding sources for the national health insurance on the levels of advanced countries in order to strengthen the social guarantee. nw
Rep. Yoon Sok-yong delivers an opening speech at a forum on securing funds for health insurance, initiated jointly by Reps. Yoon and Lee Sang-deuk at the National Assembly Building on March 8.