Press Briefing on the 9 Innovations of Seoul Medical Center
Date March 24th, 2015 | Venue Briefing Room, Seoul City Hall
It is a great pleasure to be here today. Following the announcement of the innovation of Seoul Metropolitan Facilities Management Corporation last week, today I would like to tell you about the 8th project of “Innovation Together”, the innovation of Seoul. Among 18 Seoul government-affiliated institutions, today I would like to talk about Seoul Medical Center.
Seoul Medical Center is a public medical corporation, which was established on September 30th, 1982. It has a history of more than 30 years, accommodates up to 653 patients, and is the biggest in scale among the 33 local medical centers in Korea. It is therefore natural to consider how to innovate Seoul Medical Center in order to enhance its benefits for the citizens, and to prepare a plan to do so.
I do not have to tell you how big of a part public medical services account for in citizens’ lives. They say human beings need clothing, food, and housing to survive. Most of their clothing and food has been satisfied. I think the clothing should be replaced with medicine. Parents with young children might ardently hope that their own child grows up without being sick. People with elderly parents might pray that their parents live long, without any disease. I think it is a great responsibility of the administration to support these citizens. This responsibility carries with it a great number of tasks to address.
According to data of Statistics Korea, as of 2012, the average life expectancy is 81 years, and the healthy span is 73 years, a difference of around 8 years. This means that a period of 8 years of our life will be spent on medicine, treatment, and struggles against disease. A more serious problem is that there is a distinct gap in the quality of life related to health between social classes as measured by income and education, as indicated in the data of Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (July 4th, 2014). The ultimate goal of Seoul Medical Center is to help any citizen to live a health and long life regardless income, education, and where they live. The Center will take center stage in this task.
Of course, Seoul Medical Center is experiencing a deficit. It is, however, a good deficit, and the role of a good hospital is not to make profits. Seoul already announced the Seoul Public Medical Service Master Plan, Healthy City 36.5 in 2012. We promised to guarantee a proper level of service by expanding the concept of public medical services in our society. Today’s promise of Seoul Medical Center Innovation is an extension of that in the same context.
Seoul Government has 13 municipal hospitals in total, including Seoul Medical Center. Seoul Medical Center will serve as a hub in innovation for municipal hospitals. It will also become a center that connects the East Village Welfare Center project with autonomous districts and local health centers. In the long term, it will expand its activities into establishing a Village Medical Ecosystem as well.
Last year, Seoul Medical Center operated the Patient Relief Hospital, a complimentary professional nursing service for patients’ families, whose lives sometimes feel powerless, stuck in nursing their loved ones. The project was hugely loved by citizens. The hospital has been taking the lead in spreading it to approximately 60 medical institutions to enhance the quality of medical service and citizens’ lives.
Through today’s promise for innovation, I expect Seoul Medical Center to be a public medical institution that gives even more support to citizens through better service. I would appreciate if you thoroughly look into, watch, and root for the promise of Seoul Medical Center. Thank you very much.