The medical community still has a negative stance, “It is not right to promote without medical staff sympathy”
▲Minister of Health and Welfare Cho Kyu-hong gives a greeting at the party-government council on pediatric, emergency, and non-face-to-face treatment held at the National Assembly on the morning of the 5th. (yunhap news)
When the discussion on the institutionalization of non-face-to-face treatment was not properly held in the National Assembly, the government and the party are planning to continue it as a pilot project. In response, the industry took a position that they welcomed it, and said that discussions on institutionalization should continue.
Currently, non-face-to-face treatment is temporarily allowed only in the ‘severe’ stage of the infectious disease crisis. In May, when the government downgrades the Corona 19 crisis level from ‘severe’ to ‘alert’, non-face-to-face treatment will be put in the realm of illegality.
On the 5th, the power of the people held a ‘party-government consultation on children, emergency, and non-face-to-face medical measures’ and decided to conduct a pilot project to continue non-face-to-face treatment even before the revision of the non-face-to-face treatment law. Park Dae-lil, chairman of the People’s Power Policy Committee, explained at the main building of the National Assembly in Yeouido, Seoul that day, “The government and the party agreed that non-face-to-face treatment has improved access to national medical care and satisfaction, but it should not be restored to its original state.”
While the non-face-to-face treatment industry viewed it positively, he emphasized that discussions on institutionalization should also take place. An official from Ola Care said, “First of all, it is a welcome position. I think it will help business,” he said. “I am not asking to make a lot of money by commercializing non-face-to-face treatment. We are doing business with the direction of improving the people’s medical service. Among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, only Korea has a blind spot due to the difficulty of non-face-to-face treatment. It should go beyond the party-government council discussions and lead to institutionalization,” he said.
▲ Jang Ji-ho, chairman of the Telemedicine Industry Council, held a press conference in Yeouido, Seoul, and expressed regret for the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s ‘principle of promoting non-face-to-face treatment centered on returning patients’. (Reporter Noh Sang-woo nswreal@)
An official from the Remote Medical Industry Council also said, “I think it is positive because it is the first time that the government and the ruling party have gathered to discuss non-face-to-face treatment.” said.
The industry has argued that non-face-to-face treatment should be allowed from the first diagnosis. Recently, Rep. Kim Seong-won of People’s Power proposed a bill allowing non-face-to-face treatment from the first visit. Previously, the non-face-to-face treatment bills proposed by members of the Democratic Party of Korea Kang Byung-won, Choi Hye-young, and Shin Hyun-young, and People’s Power member Lee Jong-seong, respectively, target returning patients. This official said, “I judge that it is a bill that has reflected only the opinions of the medical community, but also the opinions of the industry and consumers. I believe that it will be actively pursued as much as the representative of the People’s Power Congressman proposed. I really hope that the discussion proceeds in a direction where all citizens can enjoy non-face-to-face treatment.”
There was also a prospect that the institutionalization discussion would be delayed due to the promotion of the pilot project. An official from the National Assembly Health and Welfare Committee belonging to the Democratic Party said, “We take the fact that we will promote a pilot project as meaning that we will not discuss legislation. “We have never discussed with the Democratic Party regarding the promotion of the pilot project,” he said.
The medical community also took a negative stance on the promotion of the pilot project. Kim Yi-yeon, spokesperson for the Korean Medical Association, said, “It seems to reflect a lot of the desperate situation in the industry, but non-face-to-face treatment is a medical practice. It is not desirable to promote a pilot project through consultations between the party and the government without rapport with medical personnel,” he said.
Spokesman Kim continued, “The industry is pushing for non-face-to-face treatment to be allowed until the first diagnosis. This is a concern in terms of patient safety. The field of non-face-to-face treatment centered on COVID-19 is also considered meaningful in terms of possibility, but the medical system should not be shaken for commercial purposes. The industry does not take any responsibility when a problem occurs to a patient during non-face-to-face treatment. “I oppose the legislation of non-face-to-face treatment and the promotion of pilot projects without any intention of sharing responsibility.”