The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) has selected Chosun University Hospital as the first special regional hospital to deal with infectious diseases.
Under a modified national preventive system, the government has sought to designate specialized hospitals for infectious diseases for different regions, to allow the public to receive treatment safely and promptly for high-risk infectious or unknown diseases.
After securing related budget, the KCDC invited general hospitals and tertiary general hospitals in three regions -- central region (Seoul, Gyeonggi Province, Daejeon), Yeongnam region (Gyeongsang provinces) and Honam region (Jeolla provinces) for competitive bidding.
As one of the three medical institutions that had initially applied withdrew, the selection committee compared the other two based on written and oral presentations (90 percent of evaluating points) and on-site inspection (10 percent) and chose Chosun University Hospital조선대병원 as the institution for the Honam region.
Since the new infectious diseases have no vaccines or remedies, the only countermeasure is to prevent the spread of patients by isolating patients, and national disaster infrastructure is essential to prevent the spread of infectious diseases through in-hospital infections, the centers said.
The regional hospitals will be responsible for diagnosing, treating and inspecting new and high-risk infectious disease patients, as well as educating and training infectious disease personnel at public and private institutions in the region.
The Chosun University Hospital plans to establish a special infectious disease unit, as required by statutory facility standards by 2020, with 29.8 billion won ($25 million) in government funds, and begin operation in earnest from 2021.
According to the KCDC, the nation needs three to five regional hospitals, considering the population distribution and the scope of the living area.