Updated August. 30, 2014 06:25
Chinese Shaner Hospital, Koreas first for-profit foreign hospital candidate, which sparked controversy over profit-seeking hospital establishment in Korea, is reported to drop its business in Korea before Aug. 12 when the government announced to approve the business.
The government held the 6th trade and investment promotion meeting led by President Park Geun-hye in the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on Aug. 12 and announced its decision to approve Chinese Shaner Hospitals for-profit hospital establishment in Jeju Island in September as a part of the investment promotion program for development of the service industry. Jeju Island, which holds the approval right of hospital establishment, also said, The local government will start approval procedures if the central government approves it. Against such backdrop, it seemed promising that Koreas first for-profit foreign hospital would be soon created in Korea.
However, the Dong-A Ilbo discovered that Shaner Hospitals Korean subsidiary received a pullout direction from the Chinese headquarters before Aug. 12 and pursued to sell the hospital site. It means the Chinese hospital practically gave up its business in Korea. A source from Samwoo Executive Design, a hospital consulting agency that provided design construction consulting services to the Shaner Hospital, said, Vice President of Shaner Hospitals Korean subsidiary asked before Aug. 12 Samwoo to sell the land. Korean subsidiarys representatives were surprised at the government`s announcement on the approval of hospital establishment at the trade and investment promotion meeting on Aug. 12. The Korean subsidiary of Shaner Hospital plans to submit an official letter of its intention for business withdrawal to the Jeju Island local government and the Ministry of Health and Welfare within a few days. Accordingly, the public criticism is growing as the government wasnt fully aware of Shaner Hospitals latest status and made a hasty announcement.
The Ministry of Planning and Finance hurried to convene the trade and investment promotion meeting to produce the first outcome after inauguration of the new minister, Choi Kyeong-hwan. The ministry also pushed other government departments to produce agenda and the Ministry of Health and Welfare raised the agenda without checking the latest status. Even worse, after the government announcement, many civic groups staged protests against for-profit foreign hospitals. That means the government has wasted resources for nothing over 2 weeks and has created social conflicts over the for-profit hospital controversy. The business owner disappeared in practical terms, but the Ministry of Health and Welfare reportedly continued review on the approval of Shaner Hospital until Friday.