A Review of Healthcare Systems and Women's Health Status in North Korea

Friday, 11 July 2008: 8:50 AM
Ja Hyung Lee, RN, PhD , Pediatric Nursing, Ewha Womans University College of Nursing Science, Seoul, Seoul, South Korea

Learning Objective 1: concern about women's health status in authoritarian system.

Learning Objective 2: recognize the problems of women's health.

Purpose: To investigate the status of women's health and to propose an improved health care plan for North Korean women.

Method: To descriptively investigate previous literatures of the North Korean heath care systems.

Results: North Korea had developed its Health Care systems initiated by the Government in 1945. Later in 1949, the policies for the health care systems for women were enacted and the status of women's health and nutrition continued to improve until late 1980. However, chronic food shortage caused the medical status of North Korea to lag behind. Consequently, the status of women's health significantly deteriorated.

Conclusions: In order to improve women's health in North Korea, the following four elements are needed: (1) rearranging legislation and administration for public health (2) supplying medical materials and resources (3) retraining medical and nursing staff with updated medical knowledge (4) developing new educational curricula in medical and nursing schools.