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  • Seoul to Conduct Korea’s First ‘Neighborhood Doctor’ Healthcare Service

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    Seoul to Conduct Korea’s First ‘Neighborhood Doctor’ Healthcare Service

    Seoul launches Korea’s very first reaching out healthcare service that provides health services from a team of healthcare specialists, including a neighborhood doctor and a team from a nearby health clinic that personally visits the patients’ homes to care for those with high-risk health issues. Services will commence from October at four health clinic locations in Seongdong, Nowon, Eunpyeong and Gwanak while plans are in the works for program expansion to include up to all 25 Seoul districts by 2022.

    This ‘Reaching Out Healthcare Service’ facilitates medical teams from neighborhood clinics to aid in sustained services for those in need by providing comprehensive healthcare customized to the needs of patients while utilizing the resources of the local health, medical and welfare sectors. Each team is specifically comprised of a nurse, pharmacist, clinical dietitian, physical therapist, dental hygienist, medical social worker, mental health professional, visiting nurse and other field specialists, while team operation is centralized around a ‘neighborhood doctor’.

    The service consists of the following four stages: Finding patients in need → Assessing health condition, establishing a healthcare plan & providing healthcare services → Linking with health and medical services → Ensuring the provision of sustained services.

    The healthcare plan is customized to each patient through a comprehensive health assessment that includes a questionnaire, medical exam interview and check-up, physical exam, evaluation of nutritional state, examining for depression or suicidal tendencies, in addition to the risk for Alzheimer’s, feebleness, etc.

    Following the provision of customized services that include supplying with nutritional foods, and physical rehabilitation, a specialist center for Alzheimer’s and/or mental health will be called upon to treat those that are in need of treatment involving examinations to determine the presence of Alzheimer’s or depression, counseling with a specialist or even hospitalization.

    In order to improve upon the sustained and regulated treatment of patients suffering from hypertension or diabetes, ongoing efforts will be made amid the cooperation and communication within an established network comprised of Seoul resident health point medical staff, local health institutions and pharmacies.

    In collaboration with The Korean Geriatrics Society and Korean Diabetes Association, the city of Seoul has been conducting training to bolster the professional competency of health clinic medical staff through four different courses, including Introduction to Geriatric Care, while ensuing continued development and supplementation of health assessment tools and manuals in order to guarantee quality healthcare services.