Social values and healthcare priority setting in Korea

Jeonghoon Ahn, Gaeun Kim, Hae Sun Suh, Sang Moo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present the role of social values in setting healthcare priorities in Korea. Design/methodology/approach: Using Clark and Weale's draft framework, Korean healthcare priority setting was analysed. The process values used were transparency, accountability, and participation, and the content values used were clinical effectiveness, cost effectiveness, justice/equity, solidarity and autonomy. Findings: In the Korean health priority setting, it was found that multiple factors influence the decision-making process. Effectiveness and safety are the two most important values mentioned in the process. Cost-effectiveness is also considered in reimbursement decisions for new drugs since 2007. Recently, health technology assessment (HTA) has begun to change the social value system traditionally used in the Korean healthcare priority setting. Originality/value: The paper extends understanding of health priority setting in Korea, and how the interpretation and use of social values has changed over recent years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-350
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Health, Organisation and Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Effectiveness
  • Health care
  • Health organization and management
  • Healthcare priority
  • International comparison
  • Korea
  • Social values


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