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The State-Centred Nosology

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Changing Disease Names of Traditional Medicine in Post-Colonial South Korea

image of Asian Medicine

Since 1951, when the Medical Service Act was enacted in South Korea, traditional Korean medicine has been an independent part of a dual medical system along with biomedicine. Despite several attempts to subordinate Korean medicine to biomedicine, Korean medicine has managed to remain an institutionally-independent system of medical care. However, in the years since the launch of the South Korean National Health Insurance Service in 1977, official regulations have required Korean medical nosology to be linked to biomedical nosology. In particular, during the four times of revision from 1979 to 2015, the originally separated disease classification of Korean medicine was gradually integrated into the Korean Standard Classification of Diseases (KCD), which heavily relies on biomedical nosology. The present study uses this nosological shift as a window to illustrate the transformation of Korean medicine in South Korea since the 1970s.

Affiliations: 1: Hyundong Korean Medicine Clinic


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