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J Korean Med Assoc. 2011 Jul;54(7):666-669. Korean. Editorial. https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2011.54.7.666
Cho B , Lee CM .
Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. belong@snu.ac.kr
Department of Family Medicine, Healthcare System Gangnam Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Abstract

The national health screening program of Korea was launched in 1980. The nationwide screening program changed its target diseases to chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes in 1988, and the national cancer screening program was expanded to cover a larger target population in 2004. In 2007, the national health screening program launched new programs that target those at transitional ages (40- and 66-year-olds), infants, and children. These developments have been intended to promote the level of public health by reducing the mortality and/or morbidity of target diseases and about 66% of the target population was reported to have participated in the screening program in 2009. In spite of continuous efforts, the current national screening program has several limitations: 1) inequity of screening by socioeconomic status, 2) lack of follow-up care after screening, 3) lack of evidence of its effects and the types of screening items, 4) lack of evaluation and quality control of screening institutes and hospitals, and 5) the obscure role of private screening programs. To achieve the goal of a national screening program, adequate screening guidelines, an appropriate follow-up program, and increased utilization of screening test results should be also emphasized.

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