KIHASA Publishes Research in Brief 2021-13: Securing the Three Pillars of Health Care Resources in Response to Covid-19

  • Date 2021-10-08
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Korea is in the midst of its fourth wave of covid-19, facing its worst surge infections since the pandemic erupted in December 2019. A variety of public health policy actions can be implemented in response to the covid-19 virus and other infectious diseases, among which are medical interventions like vaccination and treatment and non-medical policy measures such as travel restrictions and social distancing.

Amid the covid-19 epidemic, it has become more challenging than ever for the health care system to meet its primary goal of protecting people’s health. The OECD has emphasized the importance of maintaining strong public health programs and optimized allocation of health care resources in such a time as now when demand for care is surging rapidly. More specifically, the OECD recommends to mobilize “staff to diagnose and treat patients”; boost “supplies of required equipment to diagnose people and provide them with acute treatment when needed”; and optimize “space to isolate and treat patients.”

Korea has implemented flexible social distancing measures in keeping with the fluctuations of covid-19 case count. Also, medical staff, health care supplies and hospital beds have been managed at the policy level, keeping the health care system at the ready to respond to potential surges in infection. This study takes a look at the past one and half years of effort the government has exerted to mobilize health care staff, supplies and beds in the face of the covid-19 pandemic, and discusses what remains to be done.

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