|Analysis of the Pregnancyand Childbirth-Related Medical Expense Subsidization Program in South Korea|
|Attach||Analysis of the Pregnancyand Childbirth-Related Medical Expense Subsidization Program in South Korea.pdf||Author||So-Young Lee||Date||2017/10/26|
This study analyzes the PCMESP, the most universal and consistently growing policy program for pregnancy and childbirth support in Korea, in terms of how effectively it has achieved its stated objectives of reducing the financial burdens on women related to pregnancy and childbirth and improving the health of babies born or birth outcomes. This study performs a quantitative analysis of the data provided by the National Survey of Fertility and Family Health and Welfare of 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2015. Has the PCMESP met its goal of reducing the financial burdens on women related to pregnancy and childbirth? The absolute costs of care related to pregnancy and childbirth and the rates of co-payment have steadily increased every year since the program was introduced, so women are unlikely to feel that the program has helped to reduce their financial burdens. Although the costs of care unrelated to pregnancy and childbirth have also increased since the program was introduced, the program has failed to stem the growing costs of pregnancy and childbirth at any rate, contrary to expectations. Considering that pregnant women are still required to pay for the entire costs of some prenatal and postnatal services they receive, the PCMESP has been ineffective on the whole at reducing the medical costs of pregnancy and childbirth. Has the PCMESP helped to improve the birth outcomes? This study shows that the PCMESP subsidy of KRW 300,000 per woman has significantly reduced the possibility of having preterm birth. Although the model used to reveal this carries only a limited explanatory power, it still shows that the program has been relatively successful in ensuring the birth of more healthy babies. Contrary to previous studies that sought to assess the effectiveness of the PCMESP on the basis of women’s awareness of and satisfaction with the program, their willingness to give birth to (additional) children, the amount of money they spend on prenatal and childbirth care, and their preferences for different types of prenatal care institutes, this study relies on birth outcomes, a key measure of the effectiveness of prenatal support policy used in studies around the world. This study therefore provides a more comprehensive assessment of the PCMESP in terms of how effectively it has met its objectives.
Ⅰ. Introduction 1
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