Koreans and medicine

An important feature of Korean healthcare is the coexistence of two independent "medical": traditional oriental and new western. These two medical traditions in many ways exist in parallel, almost without crossing each other. And educational institutions, and pharmacies, and hospitals "Western" and "Eastern" Schools are different.

Eastern medicine, which in Korea is called "Chinese" or "Korean", Based on the centuries-old traditions of East Asian countries, first of all – China. Its origins – in folk medicine countries of the region, the experience of which was summarized by many generations of doctors. Strengths of Eastern Medicine – – the use of natural drugs, an integrated approach to treatment, good understanding of chronic diseases. At the same time, it is not necessary to idealize it. In particular, the weak place of traditional medicine has always been surgery, as well as treating acute diseases.

It is clear that no western medicine in old Korea and the concept was not. Penetration of modern Western medical knowledge began only at the end of the XIX century, and foreign missionaries played a special role in this.

The first serious recognition of Western medicine received in 1884. It was the time of a fierce political struggle, during which both parties were resorted to the physical destruction of opponents. Somehow, as a result of the assassination, one of the advisers of Queen Min. Designed to help the wounded doctors of traditional medicine were powerless, the state of the dignity was quickly deteriorating, and then the government decided to ask for help who had come to the Protestant missionary to Korean Mission to Allen, a doctor for education. His efforts the sovereign recovered. After that, King Kircheon appointed Allen his personal doctor and allowed him to open the first hospital in Korea. The success of this hospital surpassed all expectations. During the first year of its existence, they adopted 265 patients, and more than 11 thousand outpatient patients. Koreans were amazed first of all how quickly and efficiently overseas doctors treat all injuries and injuries. By 1910. There are already about 30 missionary hospitals in Korea, however, for the most part – very small. In 1899. The first Korean Medical University, founded by the American Physician North, opened in Seoul, and the first Korean Medical University (afterwards he joined the University of NSS). Many Koreans began to go to study at the medical faculties of Japanese universities.

In 1910. Korea became a Japanese colony. New authorities belonged to Western medicine very positive. With the Japanese, the network of medical institutions has noticeably expanded. In 1940. There were already 105 hospitals in Korea, of which 63 belonged to the Japanese, 20 – Koreans and 22 – Western Christian missionaries. The doctors were very small, in 1940. On 25 million Koreans accounted for 3,600 doctors, that is, 1 doctor for 7 thousand people. Not surprisingly, this specialty was considered one of the most profitable. The doctor in those times was not just a good secured but rich man. The income of the city’s middle hand, then five to six times exceeded the salary of a high-ranking official! It is clear that and the bills for medical services were astronomical and for most simple Koreans nearly.

At the same time, the attitude of the Japanese colonial administration to traditional medicine was extremely suspicious. Eastern medicine was considered simply superstition and quantities, and traditional doctors perceived about the same way as shamans. In 1907. The Japanese closed the only educational institution in Korea, who prepared specialists in Eastern medicine, and actually drove it underground for several decades. Knowledge and traditions were transmitted individually, from the mentor – to his disciples. However, Eastern Medicine as a whole has experienced this difficult period for its history. The main reason was that then it was much more affordable than Western. The doctor of Western Medicine was, in fact, Barin, who served the top of Korean society, while the doctors of the traditional school demanded quite modest fees, so you could contact them to afford and Korean medium wealth, and even the poor.

After 1945. the situation has changed. Most Japanese, including doctors, was expelled from the country. In local medicine, American has come to replace Japanese influence. After 1945. Korean students studied already on American methods. At the same time there was a traditional medicine and rehabilitation, which has received official recognition in 1951. It was largely due to its low cost, because the doctors of Western school relied mainly on imported medical drugs, which in those times cost considerable money, and traditional pharmacists manufactured all their medicines from local raw materials, from Korean plants and animals.

It is curious that in our days, traditional medicine is much more expensive than Western. Caused by this and using expensive natural medicines, and the few doctors (now in Korea per traditional doctor accounts for six Western). Many components of traditional drugs in Korea are no longer found, so they are imported from abroad, and often – smuggling, contrary to prohibitions. Unfortunate international fame, for example, Korean smugglers who lead a real hunt for bear bile – one of the traditional components of Eastern Medicine preparations. From time to time there are these international scandals caused by smugglers cooperation with foreign poachers who shoot on the order of rare animals. The rich people are often addicted to traditional doctors more often, and the fact that the doctors themselves work in large cities, that is, where there are potential customers, ready to pay for the treatment of considerable money. Thus, the situation is now exactly the opposite of the one that existed in colonial times.

Koreans and medicine

On the other hand, Eastern Medicine itself has changed in many ways. Now in traditional clinics, modern scientific equipment is used, drugs are manufactured using modern biotechnology, and research of their effectiveness is carried out according to the methods of Western Medicine. Traditional medicine is now taught at universities, at special faculties of Eastern Medicine. At these faculties that exist separately from ordinary medical, students study not only vintage Chinese and Korean medical treatises, but also quite modern items, like anatomy or organic chemistry. By the way, now it is the traditional medicine – the most prestigious specialty in Korea, and go to the faculty of traditional medicine is harder than any other.

Return, however, to the organization of Western Medicine, which is now in Korea is the main. At the view of a man who is familiar to the Soviet-Russian system, Korean medicine has a number of features. Let’s start with the fact that the clinic is almost not familiar to us in Soviet times. Almost not found in Korea and known for us from Russian classical literature. Protective doctors. Almost all medical care in the country is held in hospitals. People are simply recorded at the reception to the hospital doctor, exactly as they in the Russian clinic would be recorded on the reception to their precinct or specialist. Hospitals in Korea by and large are divided into three types: university (they are considered the best), large state or departmental, and small private. There are medical points at the factories and in large firms. Graduates of medical universities seek to work in university hospitals or, if it does not work, in large clinics. Patients also, as a rule, prefer to record on reception in large hospitals, where both the equipment and doctors are better than in small clinics.

In 1996. There were 59 in the country.399 certified Western Medicine doctors, in other words, one doctor accounted for every 767 Koreans. Compared with colonial times, this is a huge improvement, but still this figure is about twice as lower than in most developed countries. In addition to Western doctors, 9 in the country operated.299 Eastern Medicine Doctors and 44.577 pharmacists (which we see play in Korean health care a special role). Medicine in Korea paid. In general, it is much cheaper than in America and other Western countries, but it must be remembered that the health insurance system in Korea is poorly developed.

Another characteristic feature of the Korean health care system, which very distinguishes it from American – this is a completely special role of the pharmacist. Pharmacist is not so much a seller of drugs as the first consultant to whom the person is drawn in the event of ailment. As a rule, communication with the patient’s pharmacist and is limited, because a visit to the doctor and money is worth, and time takes a lot. Pharmacist in Korea has the right to sell very strong drugs, including, for example, antibiotics, which in other developed countries are discharged exclusively by a doctor’s prescription. This system has developed back in the fifties, when the doctors are disastrously lacked, and the government decided to turn the pharmacists in medical workers, so to speak, "concurrently". Subsequently, such a special role of pharmacists became part of Korean traditions. This system now causes displeasure among doctors who love to strive for how much, they say, risky to trust the pharmacist. Indeed, the pharmacist does not conduct any patient examination, and relies only to the symptoms described by the sick himself. However, do not forget that in this discussion doctors – people are more than interested, because the reduction of pharmaceutical rights and expanding the list of prescription drugs will mean a significant increase in the flow of patients and, it means a significant increase in income of the doctors themselves. On my own modest look, the Korean system works very well. The consultant’s pharmacist fully copes with its tasks in the case of relatively light ailments – colds, flu, light gastric disorder, and at the same time saves a lot of money and time. With more serious problems, of course, it is better to go to the doctor.

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