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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 23(2); 2014 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 2014;23(2): 157-202.
doi: https://doi.org/10.13081/kjmh.2014.23.157
일제하 대만·조선 공의(公醫)제도 비교연구: 제도 운영과 그 효과
A Comparative Study on Koii (Public Doctor) System and its Effect on Public Health in Colonial Taiwan and Korea
Myungki Moon
Department of Korean History, Kookmin University, Seoul, Korea. moonster0909@hanmail.net
Received: June 13, 2014;  Accepted: July 22, 2014.  Published online: August 31, 2014.
Koii(Public Doctor) System introduced into Taiwan in 1896 for the purpose of filling up medical vacuum of rural area and therefore spreading modern medical system all over Taiwan, was transplanted in 1913 into Colonial Korea for the same purpose. In terms of system itself Koii system in both areas were almost the same, but quite different in practices. First, Koiis in Taiwan was forced to write concrete medical report every month on the medical situation in the area under jurisdiction, whereas to those in Korea writing monthly report was not so compulsory. This difference resulted in some gaps in the quality of medical statistics of the two areas. Second, Unlike their counterparts in Korea, Koiis in Taiwan organized their own associations both locally and nationally and it helped to build up their own networks and share informations on medical situation including informations on infectious diseases. Third, Koiis in Taiwan formed more harmonious relationship between Taiwanese Police than their counterparts in Korea, which helped them to execute various medical activities in more comfortable environment. Taiwanese People went to medical institutions a lot more frequently than Korean People, and this difference was basically derived from the quite different density of Koii assignment in both areas. Korean People had to spend more time and money to utilize modern medical institutions than Taiwanese People did. The different density of Koii assignment also affected the results of prevention and eradication of infectious diseases; in Taiwan plague and small-pox has been successfully controled, whereas Chosun Government-general was not so successful in controling infectious diseases including small-pox. Small-pox infectee in Korea was about 6 times to Taiwan, and the number of death by small-pox was 9 times to Taiwan. One of the keys to this difference is the different role of Koiis. In Korea, Koiis could do little thing about infectious diseases mainly because of manpower shortage, thus shifting their duties like vaccination onto police officers who was inevitably inferior to doctors in medical terms, whereas vaccination was led by Koiis in Taiwan, with the help of police officers and traditional doctors. The difference between Korea and Taiwan in terms of Koii system and its effect implies that public health network in colonial Taiwan was better organized and more stable than that in colonial Korea, and therefore we should be careful about applying the concept of disciplinary power or modernization theory to colonial medical history of Korea.
Key Words: Koii (public doctor) system, Colonial Taiwan, Colonial Korea, Public doctor-treated patients, Infectious disease control, Medical statistics
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