Document Type : Commentary
Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, South Korea
Hongcheon County Hypertension and Diabetes Registration and Education Center, Hongcheon, South Korea
Since 2001, when Uganda abolished user fees to improve the accessibility of healthcare, out-of-pocket costs still account for 42% of total health expenditure. Even if universal health coverage (UHC) is achieved on the demandside, government authorities face political and economic challenges due to soaring burden of diseases. Therefore, this study aimed to re-analyze the implementation process according to three pillars by World Health Organization (WHO) based on Korean UHC-related articles. In terms of breadth, the national health insurance (NHI) in Korea UHC was established from 1977 for employees to 1989 for self-employed. In terms of depth, benefit packages in Korea UHC have expanded from essential medical services to expensive care (ultrasono, computerized tomography, etc) including benefit period. Finally, in terms of height of coverage, the government has tried to relieve financial burden of households with catastrophes and enhance benefit plan for major diseases till now. This historical legacy for UHC in Korea can pose lessons to policy-makers in developing countries including Uganda and Ghana.