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Korean Medicine

KOREAN MEDICINE

"KOREAN MEDICINE" refers to medical practices based on medicine, traditionally descended from our ancestors, and medical practices and herbal medicines that have been scientifically applied and developed based on them.

Korean Medicine is a person-centered medicine, and the disease is caused by the body and mind of the person, and it has the characteristics of personalized medicine that differs in prescription and treatment depending on the person.

BEGINNING OF THE MODERN
KOREAN MEDICINE

The license system for Korean Medicine practitioners introduced in 1951 and
the first college for Korean Medicine was established in 1955.

As of 2020, there are 11 Traditional Korean Medicine colleges
(6-year course) and one Professional Graduate School of Korean Medicine
in Korea.

The Act on the Promotion of Korean Medicine and Pharmaceuticals
promulgated in 2003 has encouraged advances in Korean Medicine.

GOVERNMENTAL POLICIES
FOR THE PROMOTION OF
KOREAN MEDICINE

Safe use of traditional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine and securing a new market

Legislation of 「Act on the Promotion of Korean Medicine and Pharmaceuticals」and Establishment」 Progress of Comprehensive Plan for Promotion and Development of Traditional Korean Medicine

  • The legislation of the 「Act on the Promotion of Korean Medicine and Pharmaceuticals」 in 2003 has encouraged advances in Korean Pharmaceutical.
  • The 「Comprehensive Plan for Promotion and Development of Traditional Korean Medicine」 has been newly established and proceeded every five years.

MAJOR POLICIES FOR THE PROMOTION
OF KOREAN MEDICINE

  • 1951

    Introduction of the License  system for Korean Medicine  practitioners

  • 1993

    Establishment of the Office on traditional Korean Medical Practices under the Ministry of Health and Welfare

  • 1994

    Introduction of the License  system for Korean Medicine  pharmacists

  • 1997

    Introduction of the Standardization system of herbal materials

  • 1998

    Decision to allocate public health Korean Medicine doctors InCstallation of Herbal Medicine Evaluation Depart- ment under the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety

  • 1999

    Establishment of Certificate system for Korean Medicine specialists in eight recogized areas of specialization

  • 2003

    Enactment of the Act on the Promotion of Korean Medicine and Pharmaceuticals

  • 2005

    ntroduction of the Traditional Korean Medical Public Health HUB Program to support public health centers Enforcement of Real-name Basis Distribution of Korean Medical Herbs Foundation of the Institute of Korean Medicine Education and Evaluation (IKMEE)

  • 2006

    The 1st wave of Comprehen- sive Plan for Promotion and Development of Traditional Korean Medicine (2006-2010)

  • 2007

    Obligating the use of standardized product

  • 2008

    Establishment of the Profes- sional Graduate School of Korean Medicine in Pusan National University

  • 2011

    The 2nd wave of Comprehensive Plan for Promotion and Development of Traditional Korean Medicine (2011-2015)

  • 2016

    The 3rd wave of Comprehen- sive Plan for Promotion and Development of Traditional Korean Medicine (2016-2020)

SYSTEM AND SERVICES
IN KOREAN PHARMACEUTICAL

Korean government's thorough Korean medicine system
management and education system

EDUCATION TRACK TO BECOME
A TRADITIONAL KOREAN MEDICINE DOCTOR

There are 11 Traditional Korean Medicine colleges (six-year course)
and one Professional Graduate School of Korean Medicine for
Korean Medicine practitioners.

Annually, 40 students graduate from three Traditional Korean Pharmacy
colleges across the country, a total of about 120 Korean Medicine
pharmacists nationwide are produced.

LICENSE SYSTEM FOR
TRADITIONAL KOREAN MEDICINE DOCTORS

Granting of a Traditional Korean Medicine doctor's license

Pursuant to Article 5 (Licenses for Physicians, Dentists or Oriental Medical Doctors) of Medical Service Law, a person who intends to become an oriental medical doctor shall be licensed by the Minister of Health and Welfare after passing the relevant national examination.

  • Traditional Korean
    Medicine college
    (6 years)

    Professional Graduate
    School of Korean
    Medicine
    (4 years)

    Admission
  • Pre-Med: 2 years
    Med School: 4 years
    (Total: 6 years)
    University
  • National Exam
    (Once in a year)
    Exam
  • PASS
    General Practiti- oner
  • Internship 1 year
    residency 3 years
    (Total: 4 years)
    Practice
    for specialist
  • TKM doctor
    Specialist
    Certificate Exam
    (Once in a year)
    Exam
  • PASS
    Specialist
Evaluation and Accreditation of Korean Medicine Education

IKMEE (Institute of Korean Medicine Education & Evaluation), established in 2005, and acknowledged by Ministry of Education as an institute for the education, certification and evaluation of Korean Medicine, promotes standardization and improved quality of Korean Medicine education.

LICENSE SYSTEM FOR
TRADITIONAL KOREAN
MEDICINE PHARMACISTS

Definition of Traditional Korean Medicine pharmacist

Pursuant to Article 2 (Definitions) paragraph 2 of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act, "pharmacist" is stipulated as a person who is in charge of matters concerning pharmaceutical affairs (including those concerning herbal medications), other than those concerning herbal drugs; and who is licensed by the Minister of Health and Welfare.

STANDARD MANUFACTURING
AND QUALITY CONTROL CRITERIA
FOR KOREAN MEDICINAL HERBS

Operating a management system for quality assurance and distribution of Korean herbal medicines, etc.
  • ased on the「Phamaceutical Affairs Act」, 「Regulation on Safety of Drugs, Etc.」, relevant standards on quality control and manufacturing of Korean medicinal herbs (GMP, Good Manufacture Practice)was prepared with lawful grounds in 2012.
  • In 2015, 'Standards on Manufacturing and Quality Control for Korean Medicinal Herbs' became a mandatory requirement.
  • Pursuant to the amended version of 「Enforcement Rules on the Medical Service Act」 (September 5th, 2008), requirements for facility criteria and standards of herbal dispensaries were added in order to secure safe supply of Korean herbal medicines.
    * Convalescent hospitals and Korean Medicine hospitals and clinics are obligated to establish a herbal dispensary.
  • ‘Guideline on Installation and Utilization of Extramural Herbal Pharmaceutical Preparation Facility and Shared-use of Herbal Pharmaceutical Preparation Facility (May 2009)’came into effect, in a purpose to making more strict facility criteria and standards for management of herbal dispensaries.

Korean Medicine management system
under the 「Medical Device Act

  • The manufacture, import, and sales of medical devices follow relevant
    management provisions in the 「Medical Device Act」.
  • Korean Medicine devices are exported to the global market, recording about
    14.7 million USD of sales in 2018 and 3.1% of YoY increase, and acupuncture
    raised the highest sales in the year with a number of 8.53 million USD.

HEALTH INSURANCE SYSTEM OF
KOREAN MEDICINE

Scope of health insurance coverage over Korean Medicine treatments

Medical diagnosis fees (consultation fees, hospitalization fees), examination fees (fees for skin resistance tests, pulse tests, meridians fees, other additional function tests, etc.), medical care fees (treatment fees for acupuncture, moxibustion, and cupping) fees for enema services, fees for bathing and general treatment, drug, prescription, and synthetic treatment fees (56 different treatments composed of 68 of herbal drugs)), Chuna, thermal therapy, packaged herbal medicine

CURRENT STATUS OF KOREAN MEDICINE
INSTITUTIONS

Korean Medicine hospitals and clinics (unit: n, %)
Current status of Korean Medicine institutions
Year Year Korean medicine institutions
Subtotal (%) Hospitals Clinics
2001 40,287 7,630(18.3) 131 7,449
2002 44,029 8,232(18.7) 135 8,097
2003 45,771 8,885(19.4) 151 8,734
2004 47,378 9,350(19.7) 154 9,196
2005 49,566 9,911(20.0) 146 9,765
2006 51,286 10,436(20.3) 142 10,294
2007 52,914 11,033(20.9) 138 10,895
2008 54,165 11,387(21.0) 139 11,248
2009 55,799 11,856(21.3) 151 11,705
2010 56,244 11,963(21.3) 159 11,804
2011 58,496 12,483(21.3) 178 12,305
2012 59,519 12,639(21.2) 199 12,440
2013 60,899 13,019(21.4) 203 12,816
2014 63,675 13,369(21.0) 234 13,135
2015 63,419 13,865(21.9) 260 13,605
2016 64,999 14,142(21.8) 282 13,860
2017 66,631 14,467(21.7) 312 14,155
2018 67,847 14,636(21.6) 307 14,329
Annual statistics of Korean medicine institutions
  • The total number of medical institutions includes hospitals (general hospitals, convalescent hospital, hospitals), clinics, special hospital (tuberculosis hospital, leprosy hospital, mental health hospital), dental hospitals and dental clinics, Korean Medicine hospitals and Korean Medicine clinics, auxiliary medical institutions (i.e. an auxiliary medical institution for providing health care to employees of companies or business, according to Article 35 of the 「Medical Service Act」, quoted from 「2019 Ministry of health and welfare statistical year book」) and midwifery clinics.
  • The ratio that Korean Medicine institutions account for in the total medical institutions Data: Ministry of Health and Welfare; 「2019 Ministry of health and welfare statistical year book」

CURRENT STATUS OF R&D

Expansion of investment by government departments for
R&D of Korean Medicine

EXPANDING INVESTMENT IN
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT (R&D)
PART FOR KOREAN MEDICINE

Various governmental ministries and agencies,
including the Ministry of Health and Welfare,
support R&D in the field of Korean Medicine,
showing increases in annual investment amount.

In 2018, the total amount of R&D spending reached about
124.2 billion KRW.

(unit: 100 million KRW)
Current status of Korean Medicine institutions
Division 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Total 980.4 1103.4 1144.3 1132.9 1242.4
Ministry of health
and welfare
143.5 213.2 243.2 239.9 248.9
Ministry of Education
and Science Technology
656.3 682.2 678.5 677.5 789.7
Ministry of Education 38.5 38.6 45.6 49.5 76
Ministry of Trade,
Industry and Energy
71.2 63.9 58.2 18 7.5
Ministry of Oceans
and Fisheries
- - - 1.4 2
Ministry of Agriculture,
Food and Rural Affairs
6 8.7 8 6.2 4.9
Small and Medium
Business Administration
34.1 28.5 33.6 59.4 41.9
Ministry of food
and drug safety
28.8 46.4 61.7 55.5 51.6
Rural Development
Administration
2 21.9 15.5 15.9 9.4
Korea Forest Service - 0.5 1.4 9.6 6
Multivariate ministry - - - - 4.5
Annual statistics of R&D spending for Korean Medicine
by government departments
Note :

* Numbers may show slight differences from the detailed calculations, as numbers below two decimal places were rounded off.

** As it is difficult to clearly define Korean Medicine R&D, the scope of Korean Medicine R&D items were confined to include the following contents only: government research fees for Traditional Korean Medical Science according to the new National Science & Technology Standard Classification System, government research fees for advanced technology in Traditional Korean Medicine field according to the 6T classification, Korean Medicine businesses operated by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Korean Institute of Oriental Medicine businesses, Korean Medicine R&D businesses operated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and verification projects for efficacy and mechanism of Korean Medicine according to the Key Science Technology Classification System.

Data :

National Science and Technology Knowledge Information Service(http://www.ntis.go.kr)
(Refer to the web page, policy.kiom.re.kr> (Archives)> (Statistics)> (Yearbook) DB for detailed data by year.)