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Title: An analysis of the policy-making process of the National Health Insurance scheme in the Republic of Korea
Author: Kim, Hunjin
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis focuses on the policy-making process of the National Health Insurance scheme (NHI) in the Republic of Korea (Korea). The analysis of the policy process of the Korean NHI scheme also makes it possible to observe the development of social policy in Korea. Health care in Korea was basically provided through the market until the implementation of the NHI scheme in 1977. The health care programme was initially introduced for a restricted section of the workforce, but gradually the programme was expanded to cover the entire population. The study addresses the questions of why and how has the NHI scheme developed. The policy-making process of the NHI scheme in Korea can be explained better by socio-political elements than by economic factors. Policy-making in the 1960s and 1970s was carried out by a limited number of policy-makers within a confined policy-making institution. At the beginning of the 1980s, however, the government pursued a more explicit strategy of reform. Since then, the range of the participants embedded in the policy-making arena has gradually become diverse and complex. As democratic processes became stronger, the policy-making structure became dynamically transformed, and power in the process was distributed among various social actors in the society. The economic crisis at the end of the 1990s had a significant impact on the style and structure of policy-making. There was a greater involvement of civic and interest groups in the policy-making process, and the government was less able to take any unilateral policy decisions. The policy-making process of the NHI scheme over the past four decades led to the development of the reformist and anti-reformist groups, and these groups contributed to building ideological foundations not only for the NHI development but also for social policy development in Korea. Two distinctive features were identified as one of the many by-products created by the NHI policy process. First, the policy-making style in the health care policy developed from 'authoritarian leadership' to 'pluralist and corporatist styles'; second, citizenship has been developed in the society and has influenced the policy-making process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available