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Role of Primary Care and Challenges for Public-Private Cooperation during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic: An Expert Delphi Study in South Korea

 Woo Young Shin  ;  Changsoo Kim  ;  Sei Young Lee  ;  Won Lee  ;  Jung Ha Kim 
 YONSEI MEDICAL JOURNAL, Vol.62(7) : 660-669, 2021-07 
Journal Title
Issue Date
COVID-19* ; Delphi Technique ; Humans ; Pandemics / prevention & control ; Primary Health Care ; Public-Private Sector Partnerships* ; Republic of Korea / epidemiology ; SARS-CoV-2
COVID-19 ; Delphi technique ; Primary care ; pandemics
Purpose: The aim of this study was to explore the role of primary care facilities and their support measures in response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to identify challenges to achieving public-private cooperation in South Korea.

Materials and methods: Twenty-four leading experts were selected and recruited to participate in this iterative web-based Delphi study. An open-ended questionnaire was administered to collect the expert panel's views in the first round. In the second round, the panel was asked to rate on a 5-point Likert scale their agreement with individual items gleaned from qualitative content analysis of views expressed in the first round. The participants were offered the opportunity to reevaluate and correct their initial responses in subsequent rounds. Responses in the second and following rounds were analyzed using quantitative descriptive statistics.

Results: The first and second rounds were completed by 54.2% (n=13/24) and 58.3% (n=14/24) of the selected panel, respectively, while 10 out of these 14 participants completed the third round. The panel cited in-person essential medical services, telehealth for fever/respiratory symptoms, surveillance for influenzae-like illness, and minimization of spread to staff as important and appropriate roles of primary care, which are urgent and feasible during a pandemic. Regarding conditions/support for these roles, the panel indicated that institutional support and funding for separate areas, workforce, and telehealth, along with public-private collaborative governance, are urgent, but not feasible.

Conclusion: This study provides guidance on strategies for continuing the required roles of primary care and highlights a need to strengthen public-private partnerships during pandemic events in Korea.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Preventive Medicine (예방의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Chang Soo(김창수) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5940-5649
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