This study examines how the decision-making process evolved in Korea during the initial phases of introduction and implementation of National Health Insurance. This study analyses the official documents and interviews views made with government officials and related personnel. We used the method of network analysis and multidimensional scaling in order to demonstrate how the major participants in the decision-making process developed and changed under the contemporary political situations. In the pre-implementation stage around 1976, major concerns were concentrated around the issues of financial support for social insurance, the fee schedule and who ought to be covered first. The total number of participants of the health or health-related organization was 61, which included the President, the Minister of Health and Social Affairs, representatives of special interest groups, etc. In the actual implementation period of 1982, different issues were brought up by the major participants. The number of participants in this period declined to 44 with the deletion of 19 and with the addition of two newly formed health insurance organizations. By 1988, as the implementation reached its final decision period, disagreements were centered on progressive premium rating and the administration of National Health Insurance. The number of participants increased to 60 after the addition of 16 participants. The analysis of this paper may provide some insight for other countries which wish to establish National Health Insurance; as reference to the policy-making process, it may provide some suggestions for when to initiate and how to formulate National Health Insurance policies.
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