The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) will be promoted to an independent administrative agency from September as a revision bill passed the National Assembly, the government said.
Also, the Ministry of Health and Welfare will have two vice ministers, each leading the public health and welfare policies, respectively.
|The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), located in Sejong, 121 kilometers south from Seoul, is promoted to a standalone administrative body from September. (KCDC)|
The National Assembly gave the green light to the revision bill of the Government Organization Act on Tuesday. As the revision bill takes effect a month after the passage, the tentatively named Disease Control and Prevention Administration will launch in September.
KCDC Director Jeong Eun-kyeong, lauded for her leadership in containing Covid-19 effectively, is likely to become the first chief of the new body, observers said. One administrator will lead the Disease Control and Prevention Administration in political service and one vice administrator appointed among general public officials.
According to the revision of the Government Organization Act, the full organizational scale and composition will be stated in the revision of the enforcement decree and rules.
However, the government decided not to move the National Institute of Health (NIH) from KCDC to the health and welfare ministry.
At the health and welfare ministry, the first vice minister will focus on policy planning/coordination and welfare, and the second vice minister, public health.
To expand the state role in public health led by the second vice minister, the government has to establish a new health policy bureau.
The health and welfare ministry has been demanding a new health policy bureau since it pushed for having two vice ministers. However, the Ministry of Economy and Finance expressed difficulties citing a need for a larger budget.
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