Health Policy Manag.  2020 Sep;30(3):265-269. 10.4332/KJHPA.2020.30.3.265.

Establishment of Ministry of Health: Reform of Central Government for National Disease Control and Healthcare System

  • 1Editor-in-Chief, Health Policy and Management, Seoul, Korea


Korea has failed to respond to the Middle East respiratory syndrome of 2015 and the early phase of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) of 2020. This is due to the structural problems of the Ministry of Health and Welfare that has been more increased manpower and budgets of the welfare part relative to those of the health part, and the ministers were appointed welfare experts, not health experts. In 21 (56.8%) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries, the Ministry of Health operates independently, and these countries have been relatively well coping with COVID-19. The importance of the Korean health sector is increasing even further. Korea faces on the emerging infectious diseases, chronic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis that has been being a huge burden, and rapidly increasing non-communicable diseases, suicide and mental disorders, and some diseases due to fine dust and climate change. In addition, the rapid advancement of the aging society, the entry of an era of ultra-low fertility and low-economic growth, and the unification of the Korean peninsula are calling for a health policy reform. Therefore, the Ministry of Health should be established and systematically responsible for health policy, disease policy, medical policy, and medical security policy. Ministry of Health will be the control tower for K-Disease Control, K-Bio, and K-Health.


Ministry of Health; COVID-19; National disease control; Government
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