J Korean Soc Emerg Med.  2017 Apr;28(2):190-200. 10.0000/jksem.2017.28.2.190.

A Delphi Study on Charging for 119 Emergency Medical Services

  • 1Department of Emergency Medical Technology, Vision College of Jeonju, Jeonju, Korea.
  • 2Department of Public Health, Graduate School, Chonnam National University, Gwangju, Korea.
  • 3Department of Emergency Medicine, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan, Korea. dream-02@daum.net


This study was performed to suggest a realistic measure of charging for 119 emergency medical services (EMS) in Korea using Delphi study targeting emergency medical specialists.
The Delphi study was conducted four times targeting 24 emergency medical specialists. The first Delphi survey contained five categories as follows: Subjects of charging for 119 EMS, method of charging, strategy of implementation, utilization of fund, measure of quality improvement. In the second and third Delphi surveys, respondents were asked to indicate the level of importance with the questionnaire statements on a Likert scale, ranging from 0 to 5. The final consultation survey collected opinions on the system of charging for 119 EMS.
The results from the first three Delphi surveys showed subjects of charging, method of charging, strategy of implementation, utilization of fund, and measure of quality improvement for 119 EMS. The fourth Delphi survey resulted in step 1 (classification of severity), step 2 (scene of accident), and step 3 (classification of severity at hospital). The classification of severity in steps 1 and 2 should be evaluated by first grade emergency medical technicians, and the classification of severity in step 3 should be evaluated by a person notified by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Non-emergent patients should pay for the charge of 119 EMS to the hospital.
Delphi study proposed charging for 119 EMS based on three levels of severity. This study suggests that charging for EMS can reduce unnecessary emergency calls and offer proper medical services to emergency patients.


Emergency medical services; Emergency medical dispatch; Delphi technique; Fees and charges
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