1910-20년대 식민지 조선의 시료사업(施療事業)의 변천-시료대상과 운영주체의 변화를 중심으로-
Changes in the Availability of Free Medical Treatment in Colonial Korea from 1910-1920-Focusing on the Change in Operations and its Effects on the Recipients of Free Medical Treatment-
역사와 경계, Vol.95 : 143~168, 2015
This paper analyzes the reduction of free medical care for citizens of Colonial Korea from 1910s to 1920s. This process of reduction was related to the financial condition of the colonial government during this period. This paper will argue that there were problems with the expansion and management of medical institutions by the overnment-General of Korea including inadequate consideration for the poor. Following Japan’s annexation of Korea in 1910, the Government-General of Korea expanded Korea’s medical care services by sponsoring and opening a hospital of Government-General of Korea (Chondokbu Uiwon) and Jahye hospitals (Jahye Uiwon, and later provincial hospitals, Dorip Uiwon). These hospitals featured free treatment sections, and when these facilities first opened, most Koreans were able to receive free medical treatment. However, as the hospitals’ operating costs became more burdensome to the government, these facilities began limiting the patients who could receive free medical treatment to only the poor. Regulations were created to determine who was eligible for free care and who was not. An increased prevalence of infectious diseases and changes in hospital management also increased costs associated with running the hospitals. The Jahye hospitals, which had been built in the major cities of each province subsequently made to cut their free treatment facilities. This was done by reducing the number of patients who qualified for free
medical care by making stricter criterion and by distributing tickets for free medical services. The number of medical institutions and professionals in Colonial Korea increased during the colonial period, however, there were still not always enough resources to meet the demand. Social welfare programs designed to provide medical services to poor citizens were created in the 1920s, the main purpose of these programs was not to provide medical services,
but to pay medical expenses for those who could not afford them. Also the operating bodies of the Jahye hospitals changed from being funded by the central government to being funded by local government. The management of hospitals thus depended highly on the running costs of the facilities. Issuance of regulations for tickets for free medical care soon became complicated, and even poor citizens were not able to receive free medical services easily. The accessibility to hospitals was low even when poor people were sick and in serious need of care. The free medical service system created by the Government-General of Korea failed because it could not solve the financial problems faced by the Jahye hospitals, nor could it handle the issuance of tickets for free medical care. As a result, the free medical care system ended up excluding the poor citizens who needed free medical care the most.