북한의 보건의료 현황과 효율적 지원방안
Abstract: As the period since the partition of North and South Korea has been prolonged, the gap
between the two Koreas continues to widen in various ways. Indeed, in the health sector, differences that already existed have diverged even more after North Korea’s economic crisis. This article will focus on the problematic situation of North Korean health care status and the trends in health aid to North Korea toward future improvement. Since 1990, after the dismantling of the socialist state system and a series of natural disasters, North Korea has accepted partial transformation to free market principles. Along with these changes and due to decreased rations, health workers also began seeking a secondary income to meet their daily needs, and a secondary economy in the pharmaceutical industry became one of their main financial resources. This has led to inequity in health service accessibility and has resulted in changes in North Korean patients’ health behaviors. Meanwhile, external aid for health has steadily increased, resulting in dependency on external support. Infectious disease and maternal, neonatal, and child health-related aid support has comprised the largest portion in health aid; however, the changing composition of the disease burden is requiring different allocation and partnerships aligned according to health aid needs. North Korea requires health-related policy reforms that can respond actively to the lack of health resources, the deteriorated health infrastructure, and the instability of the health and social safety net. The South Korean government, as the central coordinator of such aid, should play this role with a specific strategy to support and respond to the changing needs of the North Korean people.