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PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL SERVICES ACT

Wholly Amended by Act No. 11247, Feb. 1, 2012

Amended by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015

Act No. 13982, Feb. 3, 2016

Act No. 15440, Mar. 13, 2018

CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS
 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to effectively provide citizens with high-quality public health and medical services and contribute to the improvement of national health by prescribing basic matters regarding public health and medical services.
 Article 2 (Definitions)
The terms used in this Act shall be defined as follows: <Amended by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015; Act No. 13982, Feb. 3, 2016>
1. The term "public health and medical services" means all activities of the State, local governments, and of public and medical institutions to ensure all citizens equal access to medical services and to protect and promote their health, irrespective of which region they live in and to whatsoever class they belong;
2. The term "public health and medical service programs" means the following programs:
(a) Programs for providing medical services to the areas and sectors with difficulties in providing medical services;
(b) Programs for providing medical services to underprivileged classes of people who have less opportunities for health and medical services;
(c) Programs to prevent and manage infectious diseases and non-infectious diseases that require the State and local governments to take measures considering the scale of outbreaks, seriousness, etc., to manage medical treatment, etc. of patients due to disasters, to promote health, and to administer health education;
(d) Other programs specified by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare for health and medical services the State needs to manage;
3. The term "public health and medical institutions" means health and medical institutions established and operated by the State, a local government, or a public institution prescribed by Presidential Decree (hereinafter referred to as "public institution") mainly for providing public health and medical services;
4. The term "institutions providing public health and medical services" means the following health and medical institutions:
(a) Public health and medical institutions;
(b) Central medical institutions for areas lacking medical services, designated under Article 13;
(c) Specialized public medical centers designated under Article 14;
(d) Medical institutions that enters into an agreement with the Minister of Health and Welfare, the Special Metropolitan City Mayor, a Metropolitan City Mayor, a Do Governor, or the Governor of a Special Self-Governing Province (hereinafter referred to as "Mayor/Do Governor") or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu (the head of a Gu means the head of an autonomous Gu; the same shall apply hereinafter) under Article 16 (2).
5. The term “public health and medical services delivery system” means building a system of performing roles of the following medical institutions to provide services referred to in each subparagraph of Article 7 (1) by the State or local governments:
(a) National Medical Center under the Act on Establishing and Administrating the National Medical Center;
(b) Seoul National University Hospital under the Establishment of Seoul National University Hospital Act and National University-affiliated hospitals under the Act on the Establishment of National University-Affiliated Hospitals;
(c) Health and medical institutions designated by the Minister of Health and Welfare, which are established and operated by areas;
 Article 3 (Obligations of State and Local Governments)
(1) The State and local governments shall implement public health and medical service programs in order to improve public health and medical services.
(2) The State and local governments shall secure an adequate number of institutions providing public health and medical services in order to smoothly implement public and medical service programs.
(3) The State and local governments may implement policies necessary to secure medical personnel defined in Article 2 (1) of the Medical Service Act so that public health and medical institutions can provide high quality medical services. <Newly Inserted by Act No. 15440, Mar. 13, 2018>
(4) The State and local governments shall secure funds to implement public health and medical service programs and to promote building and management of the public health and medical service delivery system and may provide financial and administrative support to institutions providing public health and medical services. <Amended by Act No. 13982, Feb. 3, 2016>
CHAPTER II MASTER PLANS, ETC. FOR PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL SERVICES
 Article 4 (Master Plans for Public Health and Medical Services)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall formulate a master plan for public health and medical services every five years in line with the plan to develop health and medical services formulated under Article 15 of the Framework Act on Health and Medical Services in order to provide citizens with high-quality public health and medical services and shall formulate and execute an annual plan to implement major policies.
(2) A master plan for public health and medical services referred to in paragraph (1) (hereinafter referred to as "master plan for public health and medical services") shall include the following:
1. Targets of, and direction-setting for, public health and medical services;
2. A plan and methods for promoting public health and medical services;
3. Schemes for procuring and managing resources for public health and medical services to expand health and medical services;
4. Other matters specified by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare to improve public health and medical services.
(3) The head of each related central administrative agency, the head of each public institution, and each Mayor/Do Governor shall respectively formulate and execute an annual implementation plan for public health and medical services (hereinafter referred to as "implementation plan") in accordance with the relevant master plan for public health and medical services.
(4) The head of each related central administrative agency, the head of each public institution, and each Mayor/Do Governor shall respectively submit a report on the results of executing the implementation plan during the preceding year and an implementation plan for the following year, to the Minister of Health and Welfare each year.
(5) Matters necessary for formulation and execution of implementation plans under paragraphs (3) and (4) and evaluation of the results of executing such plans shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 5 (Deliberation on Policies on Public Health and Medical Services)
The following matters concerning public health and medical services shall be deliberated on by the Health and Medical Services Policy Deliberation Committee established under Article 20 of the Framework Act on Health and Medical Services:
1. Formulation of, and amendment to a master plan for public health and medical services;
2. Designation of areas lacking medical services pursuant to Article 12;
3. The necessity and scale of specialized public medical centers pursuant to Article 14;
4. Other matters referred by the chairperson of the Health and Medical Services Policy Deliberation Committee for deliberation.
CHAPTER III INSTITUTIONS PROVIDING PUBLIC HEALTH AND MEDICAL SERVICES
 Article 6 (Establishment and Operation of Public Health and Medical Institutions)
(1) The State and local governments shall establish and operate public health and medical institutions and endeavor to adequately meet citizens' demand for basic health and medical services.
(2) The State and local governments may subsidize public health and medical institutions for expenses incurred in establishing and operating such institutions.
 Article 7 (Obligations of Public Health and Medical Institutions)
(1) Public health and medical institutions shall prioritize providing the following health and medical services: <Amended by Act No. 13982, Feb. 3, 2016>
1. Health and medical services for the underprivileged, including medical care beneficiaries;
2. Health and medical services for children, maternity, persons with disabilities, mental diseases, emergency treatment, and health and medical services inadequately provided due to low profitability;
3. Public health and medical services for disasters, infectious diseases, etc. that require prompt countermeasures;
4. Health and medical services for preventing diseases and promoting health;
5. Health and medical services for maintaining equality among regions through education and training and provision of human resources;
6. Other health and medical services specified by the Minister of Health and Welfare in line with the plan to develop health and medical services pursuant to Article 15 of the Framework Act on Health and Medical Services.
(2) The Minister of Health and Welfare may request a public health and medical institution to provide other public health and medical service programs in addition to the programs specified in the Acts and subordinate statutes governing the establishment and operation of the relevant public health and medical institutions.
(3) Upon receipt of a request made under paragraph (1), a public health and medical institution shall comply therewith, except in extenuating circumstances.
(4) The State and local governments may subsidize public health and medical institutions under paragraphs (1) and (2) or institutions providing public health and medical services under Article 17 (1) within budgetary limits for the expenses necessary for the provision, etc. of health and medical services. <Newly Inserted by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015>
 Article 8 (Formulation of Plans for Public Health and Medical Services)
(1) The head of each public health and medical institution shall formulate an annual plan for public health and medical services and shall submit the plan to the Minister of Health and Welfare, along with a report on the results of executing such plan during the preceding year.
(2) If the Minister of Health and Welfare finds it necessary with regard to a plan for public health and medical services, submitted under paragraph (1), he/she may recommend the head of the relevant public health and medical institution to amend the plan, as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
(3) The Minister of Health and Welfare or a Mayor/Do Governor may partially subsidize a public health and medical institution for expenses incurred in executing a plan for public health and medical services under paragraph (1).
(4) Contents of a plan for public health and medical services under paragraph (1) and the procedures for formulating such plan and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
 Article 9 (Evaluation on Outcomes of Plans for Public Health and Medical Services)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall evaluate the results of executing a plan for public health and medical services reported under Article 8. In such cases, the Minister of Health and Welfare shall reflect the performance outcomes of public health and medical institutions and institutions providing public health and medical services (excluding those institutions under subparagraph 4 (d) of Article 2; hereafter the same shall apply in this Article) that provided health and medical services, etc. pursuant to Article 7 (1) and (2) or Article 17 (1) in the evaluation. <Amended by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015>
(2) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall not unfavorably reflect economic losses that occurred while public health and medical institutions and institutions providing public health and medical services provided health and medical services pursuant to Article 7 (1) and (2) or 17 (1) in the evaluation under paragraph (1). <Newly Inserted by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015>
(3) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall notify the heads of relevant public health and medical institutions and the head of an agency with which the relevant public health and medical institutions are affiliated of the findings from the evaluation conducted pursuant to paragraph (1). <Amended by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015>
(4) The Minister of Health and Welfare may publicly announce the findings from the evaluation conducted pursuant to or reflect such findings in subsidizing expenses under Article 8. <Amended by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015>
(5) Standards and procedures for and time and methods of evaluating the performance outcomes of a plan for public health and medical services under paragraph (1) and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. <Amended by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015>
 Article 10 (Free Lease of State or Public Property)
(1) If the State or a local government deems it necessary to establish and operate a public health and medical institution, it may lease State or public property to a public health and medical institution free of charge or may permit a public health and medical institution to use or profit from State or public property free of charge, notwithstanding the State Property Act or the Public Property and Commodity Management Act.
(2) The details, terms, and conditions of the lease and use of or profit from State or public property under paragraph (1) and the procedures therefor shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 11 (Special Provisions for Institutions Not Exceeding Specified Scale)
Articles 8, 9, 13, and 14 shall not apply to public health and medical institutions not exceeding the scale specified by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, such as public health clinics.
 Article 12 (Designation and Public Announcement of Areas Lacking Medical Services)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall periodically evaluate and analyze citizens' use of medical services and the distribution of resources for medical services.
(2) The Minister of Health and Welfare may designate and publicly announce an area found substantially lacking medical services as a result of evaluation and analysis conducted under paragraph (1) as an area lacking medical services.
(3) The Minister of Health and Welfare may designate areas lacking medical services under paragraph (2) upon categorizing such areas based on the targets and types of insufficient medical services.
(4) The Minister of Health and Welfare may provide the following support to areas designated and publicly announced as an area lacking medical services under paragraph (2) (hereinafter referred to as "area lacking medical services") to facilitate the provision of health and medical services to such areas:
1. Assistance in providing human resources for health and medical services;
2. Subsidization for expenses incurred in establishing and operating medical institutions defined in Article 3 of the Medical Service Act (hereinafter referred to as "medical institution").
(5) Evaluations and analysis conducted under paragraph (1), standards and procedures for, and method of designating areas lacking medical services, and the period for such designation and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
 Article 13 (Designation of Central Medical Institutions for Areas Lacking Medical Services)
(1) A Mayor/Do Governor may designate a medical institution that has, or is deemed capable of having, facilities, personnel, and equipment necessary to provide adequate health and medical services to residents in an area lacking medical services within his/her jurisdiction as a central medical institution for an area lacking medical services (hereinafter referred to as "central medical institution for an area lacking medical services").
(2) A medical institution that intends to obtain designation as a central medical institution for an area lacking medical services shall file an application therefor with the competent Mayor/Do Governor. If a public health and medical institution files an application for such designation, the Mayor/Do Governor may give preferential consideration to designation.
(3) A medical institution designated as a central medical institution for an area lacking medical services shall formulate a plan for providing adequate health and medical services to the area lacking medical services and shall report the results of executing the plan to the competent Mayor/Do Governor, as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
(4) The Minister of Health and Welfare, a Mayor/Do Governor, or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu may fully or partially subsidize central medical institutions for expenses incurred in expanding and operating facilities and equipment.
(5) Medical institutions designated as central medical institutions for an area lacking medical services over-bound or are insufficient, the Minister of Health and Welfare may recommend the competent Mayor/Do Governor to adjust designation, as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
(6) Standards and procedures for, and method of designating central medical institutions for an area lacking medical services and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
 Article 14 (Designation of Specialized Public Medical Centers)
(1) In order to facilitate the provision of following health and medical services, the Minister of Health and Welfare may designate a medical institution that has, or is deemed capable of having, facilities, personnel, and equipment necessary for the fields of specialty as a specialized public medical center (hereinafter referred to as "specialized public medical center"):
1. A field of specialty inadequately provided due to low profitability;
2. A field of specialty the State greatly needs to develop for citizens' health;
3. A field of specialty the State needs to support due to an inter-regional discrepancy in such medical services.
(2) A medical institution that intends to obtain designation as a specialized public medical center shall file an application therefor with the Minister of Health and Welfare. If a public health and medical institution files an application for such designation, the Minister of Health and Welfare may give preferential consideration to designation.
(3) A specialized public medical center shall provide citizens with high-quality health and medical services in the designated field of specialty and train human resources therefor, formulate a plan therefor, and report the results of executing such plan to the Minister of Health and Welfare, as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
(4) The Minister of Health and Welfare or a Mayor/Do Governor may fully or partially subsidize specialized public medical centers for expenses incurred in expanding and operating their facilities and equipment.
(5) Standards and procedures for, and method of designating specialized public medical centers and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
 Article 15 (Evaluation of Results of Executing Public Health and Medical Service Programs)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare may evaluate the results of public health and medical service programs executed by each central medical institution for an area lacking medical services and each specialized public medical center.
(2) The Minister of Health and Welfare may vary financial and administrative support to each central medical institution for an area lacking medical services or a specialized public medical center, based on the findings from of evaluation conducted under paragraph (1).
(3) The Minister of Health and Welfare may disclose the findings from evaluation conducted under paragraph (1) to the public, require the relevant central medical institution for an area lacking medical services or a specialized public medical center to rectify defects, or take other necessary measures to efficiently operate such central medical institution for an area lacking medical services or specialized public medical center.
(4) Detailed standards for, and method of conducting evaluations under paragraph (1) and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
 Article 16 (Cooperation in Services and Conclusion of Agreements with Medical Institutions)
(1) The State or a local government may cooperate with medical institutions in executing programs for public health and medical services and providing technical support for such programs.
(2) The Minister of Health and Welfare, a Mayor/Do Governor, or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu, when it is necessary for the promotion of a public health and medical service program, may enter into an agreement with medical institutions. <Amended by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015>
 Article 17 (Matters to Be Observed, etc. by Institutions Providing Public Health and Medical Services)
(1) Institutions providing public health and medical services shall provide patients with high-quality health and medical services. <Newly Inserted by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015>
(2) An institution providing public health and medical services (excluding an institution under subparagraph 4 (d) of Article 2; the same shall apply hereafter in this Article) shall comply with the following principles in implementing a public health and medical services program: <Amended by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015>
1. Formulation of a program plan with participation of local residents;
2. Diligent operation of programs, focusing on public interests;
3. Transparent financial management and disclosure of accounting.
(3) If a serious hazard to citizens' health prescribed by Presidential Decree is foreseen, the Minister of Health and Welfare may, first issue an order to institutions providing public health and medical services to take measures necessary to mitigate the occurrence or spread of the hazard. <Amended by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015>
(4) The head of an institution providing public health and medical services, in receipt of an order to take measures under paragraph (3), shall not refuse such order, except in extenuating circumstances. <Amended by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015>
 Article 18 (Revocation of Designation of Central Medical Institutions for Areas Lacking Medical Services)
(1) If any of the following applies to any central medical institution for an area lacking medical services or a specialized public medical center, the Minister of Health and Welfare or the competent Mayor/Do Governor may revoke the designation thereof: Provided, That the Minister of Health and Welfare must revoke such designation in cases referred to in subparagraph 1: <Amended by Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015>
1. If a central medical institution for an area lacking medical services or a specialized public medical center obtains designation by fraud or other illegal means;
2. If a central medical institution for an area lacking medical services or a specialized public medical center wrongfully executes the budget provided by the State or a local government or executes such budget for any purpose other than the original purpose;
3. If a central medical institution for an area lacking medical services or a specialized public medical center fails to report, in violation of Article 13 (3) or 14 (3);
4. If a central medical institution for an area lacking medical services or a specialized public medical center falls short of the standards for designation referred to in Article 13 (6) or 14 (5);
5. If a central medical institution for an area lacking medical services or a specialized public medical center fails to comply with an order without justifiable grounds, in violation of Article 17 (4);
6. If any other ground specified by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare exists.
(2) If a medical institution’s designation is revoked under paragraph (1), it shall not be re-designated as a central medical institution for an area lacking medical services or a specialized public medical center within two years from the date the designation is revoked.
(3) When the Minister of Health and Welfare or a Mayor/Do Governor revoke designation under paragraph (1), he/she may fully or partially recoup subsidies paid to the relevant medical institution: Provided, That the Minister of Health and Welfare shall fully or partially recoup subsidies in cases referred to in paragraph (1) 1 or 2.
 Article 19 (Hearings)
When the Minister of Health and Welfare or a Mayor/Do Governor intends to revoke the designation of a central medical institution for an area lacking medical services or a specialized public medical center under Article 18, he/she shall hold a hearing.
CHAPTER IV EDUCATION, TRAINING, ETC.
 Article 20 (Education, Training, etc.)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare, a Mayor/Do Governor, or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu may conduct educational and training programs to improve the quality of persons engaged in public health and medical services.
(2) The Minister of Health and Welfare or a Mayor/Do Governor may establish or operate educational and training centers for education and training under paragraph (1).
(3) The Minister of Health and Welfare or a Mayor/Do Governor may entrust a public health and medical institution with the operation of educational and training centers under paragraph (2) and provide financial and administrative support necessary for operation thereof.
(4) Methods and details of education and training under paragraphs (1) through (3) and eligible persons, the establishment and operation of educational and training centers, and entrustment of the operation of such centers and other matters shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
 Article 21 (Establishment and Operation of Support Centers for Public Health and Medical Services)
(1) In order to support the following activities for public health and medical services, the Minister of Health and Welfare may establish and operate a support center for public health and medical services: <Amended by Act No. 13982, Feb. 3, 2016; Act No. 15440, Mar. 13, 2018>
1. Technical and managerial improvement support to institutions providing public health and medical services;
2. Support for development and distribution of guidelines for the public medical sector;
3. Development and distribution of educational and training programs for human resources for public health and medical services;
4. Collection and analysis of information and statistics on public health and medical services;
5. Evaluation of the results of executing plans for public health and medical services under Article 9 (1);
6. Evaluation of the results of executing public health and medical service programs under Article 15 (1);
7. Support for exchange and cooperation among task forces to support public health and medical services under Article 22 (1);
8. Other public health and medical service activities specified by the Minister of Health and Welfare.
(2) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall entrust the operation of a support center for public health and medical services referred to in paragraph (1) to a corporation or organization providing public health and medical services and may fully or partially subsidize such corporation or organization for expenses incurred in operating such center.
(3) The establishment and operation of support centers for public health and medical services, entrustment of the operation of such support centers, and other necessary matters under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
 Article 22 (Establishment and Operation of Task Force to Support Public Health and Medical Services)
(1) In order to support activities for public health and medical services, a Mayor/Do Governor may organize and operate a task force to support public health and medical services.
(2) A Mayor/Do Governor may entrust a public health and medical institution with the operation of a task force to support public health and medical services. In such cases, the competent Mayor/Do Governor may fully or partially subsidize a public health and medical institution for expenses incurred in operating such task force.
(3) The State may provide financial and administrative support necessary to establish and operate a task force to support public health and medical services under paragraphs (1) and (2).
(4) The establishment and operation of a task force to support public health and medical services under paragraphs (1) through (3), entrustment of the operation of such task force and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
CHAPTER V SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
 Article 23 (Requests to Provide Data)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare, a Mayor/Do Governor, or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu may request an institution providing public health and medical services or a public institution to provide him/her with data necessary to formulate and execute a master plan or an implementation plan for public health and medical services and manage and evaluate public health and medical service programs.
(2) Upon receipt of a request made under paragraph (1), the head of an institution providing public health and medical services or the head of a public institution shall comply with such request, except in extenuating circumstances.
 Article 24 (Investigations and Inspections)
(1) If the Minister of Health and Welfare, a Mayor/Do Governor, or the head of a Si/Gun/Gu deems it necessary to issue instructions to, or supervise an institution providing public health and medical services (excluding cases referred to in subparagraph 4 (d) of Article 2; the same shall apply hereafter in this Article) with regard to a public health and medical service program, he/she may authorize any affiliated public official to investigate its operations, accounts, and property or to inspect relevant accounting books, documents, etc.
(2) A public official who conducts an investigation or inspection under paragraph (1) shall carry an identification certificate indicating his/her authority and produce it to persons involved.
CHAPTER VI PENAL PROVISIONS
 Article 25 (Fines for Negligence)
(1) Any person who evades, refuses, or interferes with an investigation or inspection conducted under Article 24 (1) shall be punished by a fine for negligence not exceeding three million won.
(2) Fines for negligence referred to in paragraph (1) shall be imposed and collected by the Minister of Health and Welfare or the head of each local government, as prescribed by Presidential Decree.
ADDENDA
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force one year after the date of its promulgation.
Article 2 Omitted.
Article 3 (Relationship to other Acts and Subordinate Statutes)
A citation of any provisions of the former Public Health and Medical Services Act by any other Act or subordinate statute in force at the time this Act enters into force shall be deemed a citation of the relevant provisions of this Act in lieu of the previous provisions, if such relevant provisions exist herein.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 13098, Jan. 28, 2015>
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 13982, Feb. 3, 2016>
This Act shall enter into force six months after the date of its promulgation.
ADDENDUM <Act No. 15440, Mar. 13, 2018>
This Act shall enter into force three months after the date of its promulgation.