J Genet Med.  2011 Dec;8(2):89-99.

Genetic Counseling in Korean Health Care System

Affiliations
  • 1Korean Foundation for Rare Disease, Korea. genetics@kornet.net

Abstract

Over the years Korean health care system has improved in delivery of quality care to the general population for many areas of the health problems. The system is now being recognized in the world as the most cost effective one. It is covered by the uniform national health insurance policy for which most people in Korea are mandatory policy holders. Genetic counseling service, however, which is well recognized as an integral part of clinical genetics service deals with diagnosis and management of genetic condition as well as genetic information presentation and family support, is yet to be delivered in comprehensive way for the patients and families in need. Two major obstacles in providing genetic counseling service in korean health care system are identified; One is the lack of recognition for the need for genetic counseling service as necessary service by the national health insurance. Genetic counseling consumes a significant time in delivery and the current very low-fee schedule for physician service makes it very difficult to provide meaningful service. Second is the critical shortage of qualified professionals in the field of medical genetics and genetic counseling who can provide the service of genetic counseling in clinical setting. However, recognition and understanding of the fact that the scope and role of genetic counseling is expanding in post genomic era of personalized medicine for delivery of quality health care, will lead to the efforts to overcome obstacles in providing genetic counseling service in korean health care system. Only concerted efforts from health care policy makers of government on clinical genetics service and genetic counseling for establishing adequate reimbursement coverage and professional communities for developing educational program and certification process for professional genetic counselors, are necessary for the delivery of much needed clinical genetic counseling service in Korea.

Keyword

Genetic counseling service; Korean Health Care System; National Health Insurance Policy; Professional genetic counselor; Training program; accreditation; certification; Korean Board of Medical Genetics
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