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Korean J Med Hist > Volume 19(2); 2010 > Article
Korean Journal of Medical History 2010;19(2): 385-432.
의료법 개정을 통해서 본 국가의 의료통제: 1950~60년대 무면허의료업자와 의료업자의 실태를 중심으로
State Control of Medicine through Legislation and Revision of the Medical Law : Licensed and Unlicensed Medical Practices in the 1950s - 60s
Jueyeon Lee
Severance dental clinic, 722-8 Guro 2-dong, Gurogu, Seoul, Korea. mar123a@hanmail.net
In the 1950s and 1960s, Korea overcame the aftermath of the war and laid the foundations for modernization of economy and professionalization of medicine. The National Medical Services Law, enacted in 1951 was the first medical law to be legislated since the establishment of the Republic of Korea. The law provided a medical system for the traditional Korean medical practitioners, activated opening of hospitals through report-only system and prohibition of interference in medical practice, and facilitated mobilization of the doctors by the government. The Medical Law, legislated in 1962 by the Park Jong-Hee administration contained practice license system, regular practice reporting system and practice designation, thereby strengthening the government control on the medical practitioners, inducing professionalism and high-quality of medical practitioners and abolished unlicensed medical practitioners such as acupuncturists, moxa cauterists and bone setters. The Medical Assistant Law of 1963 was introduced so that medical examination and assistance could be carried out under supervision of professional doctors. To reduce areas without healthcare system, region-specified medical practitioners got licensure and a community doctor system was organized. However, due to expensive medical fees in comparison to economic status and medical needs of patients, shortage of doctors, low accessibility to hospitals led to the prevalence of illegal medical practice by unlicensed practitioners. Absence of national budget or policy on the health care system and the American-style noninterference medical system were other factors causing the situation. Government, Korean Medical Associations and Korean Dental Association tried, without success, to exercise control over the unlicensed medical practice. President Park Jong-Hee had to introduce a special law concerning the health-care related crimes with life sentence as the highest penalty. While the government put modernization before social welfare, operated on a policy of state-controlled medical care system, and doctors achieved specialization system similar to that of the United States, the public had to suffer, being treated by unlicensed medical practitioners. Inevitably, the need for a national medical practitioner supply plan and a policy to support health service was raised.
Key Words: Legislation and Revision of the Medical Law, Stated-controlled medical care, Inducement of American-styled professional system and noninterference medical system, illegal medical practice by unlicensed practitioners
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