The health service system of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has some characteristics.
First, medical care for the people is free. In this country the working masses including workers, farmers, service personnel and intellectuals are entitled to medical care irrespective of gender, age, residence, occupation, the quality and quantity of labour done; as the system is universal, everybody lives with no worry about medical treatment. Special benefits are awarded to children, pregnant women and mothers with sucklings.
They receive all kinds of medical services such as examination, treatment and operation free of charge at hospitals furnished with modern medical facilities, like the Breast Tumour Institute of the Pyongyang Maternity Hospital, Ryugyong General Ophthalmic Hospital, Okryu Children’s Hospital and Ryugyong Dental Hospital. The expenses for the round trip to sanatoriums are borne by the state. Other services including medical checkup, vaccination and delivery assistance for the pregnant women are also free of charge.
Second, prevention is the main thing in protecting and promoting the people’s health.
Medicine of the country is, in essence, preventive medicine. It is an important principle to prevent diseases. Eloquent proof is the slogan Socialist Medicine Is Preventive Medicine, which can be seen in all hospitals and clinics in the country.
The country has set up hygienic and preventive organs in all places, ranging from the capital to all provinces, cities and counties, and a well-regulated work system, thus preventing various diseases including epidemics.
The country also enforces the section doctor system, an advanced medical care system, whereby each doctor is in charge of a residential quarter and go among the residents to inquire after their health and take preventive measures.
Third, medical workers devote their all to the treatment of patients.
It is the Korean medical workers’ view that no disease is incurable if it is treated with devotion.
Showing sincere affection and displaying the spirit of devoted service, they are giving medical service to the people so that the benefits of the health policy of the state would reach the people more effectively.
They even donate their blood and skin for the treatment of patients.
A senior ophthalmologist at a provincial hospital has restored the eyesight of thousands of persons who lost or were on the eve of losing their eyesight with her warm-hearted devotion and high medical skills for scores of years. One of them recovered her eyesight with the help of transplant of graft from her eyes. Worried about recurrence of their diseases after operation and even after they left the hospital, she shows close concern on their health.
Once, a woman farmer was admitted to the hospital. As she was suffering from complications with cataract she might lose her eyesight if time was wasted. The senior ophalmologist took charge of the patient and studied to find out optimum method of treatment according to the course of the illness; by conducting operation successfully, she restored her eyesight.
To take responsibility for and take care of the life and health of the people by the state is too natural in this country whose guiding ideology is the Juche idea that regards the people as the most precious beings. They regard the life and health of the people as more precious than anything else and give prominence to their life and health before taking any economic calculation into consideration in any circumstances, giving unsparing investment to this end.