President Park Calls for 'Productive' and 'Tailored' Welfare Policies
In line with a campaign pledge made by the president, the government is planning to expand the national health insurance program to include coverage of four major diseases -- cancer, heart and cerebrovascular diseases as well as rare, incurable illnesses -- by the year 2016.
The news was delivered by the health ministry in its status report to President Park Geun-hye Thursday morning.
The ministry also said it is planning to boost support for childcare services by 50 percent by 2016.
Families with children between the ages of three and five will be eligible to receive nearly 270 U.S. dollars a month, up from the current 180 dollars.
The government also plans to increase the number of public nurseries by more than 2-thousand over the next five years.
The Food and Drug Administration reported plans to upgrade its food security management system, and said that it will push ahead with a revision of the nation's food sanitation law to strengthen punishments for distributors of unsanitary food.
Prior to the briefings, President Park offered some insight into her health and welfare policy philosophy.
She said the paradigm of the country's welfare system should change in order to free the public from anxiety about the future.
In particular, she emphasized three points.
She said the welfare system should help people become independent and self-sufficient.. rather than just providing handouts.
The president also made it clear that her administration's welfare policy aims to offer support BEFORE it's needed and said the system will be tailored to meet citizens' needs throughout their lives.
President Park added that the government should reassure the public that it will provide citizens with at least the minimum needed to live when the unexpected occurs.
"The status reports will continue through early April. The agriculture ministry is next.. and is scheduled to give its report to the president on Friday.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News."
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