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Human Rights Series 2nd: Medical Care for Non-Registered Foreign Workers

최종 수정일: 2023년 8월 18일

May 11th, 2023

by Sung Jae Ahn

(Translation into Chinese: Soohyun Kim)


Unregistered migrant workers are known to be key contributors to the Jeju industry. The cheap wages and the easy hiring process benefit the unfavored sectors of agriculture, fishing, and other 3D industries on the Island. According to a research report published in December 2018, conducted by the Korean Immigration Association, the recruitment rate of foreign workers in rural areas of Jeju Island was 26%, of which 9.6% were registered foreigners and 16.2% were unregistered foreigners. The proportion of unregistered foreigners in Jeju is 60%, double the national average of 30%.



(Source: BokjiNews)


It is very likely that the unstable status of non-registered foreign workers not only endangers the working environment of the Jeju community but also serves as a representative risk factor that shakes the foundation of the entire Jeju industry. Improving their status of residence and working conditions should not be addressed by simply invading the Jeju labor market or increasing the cost of the Jeju industry, but rather through stabilizing their status will help to strengthen Jeju industry.

Around mid-February, 2020, an unregistered foreign worker’s arm and face were seriously injured while working on a farm. The farmer took him to the hospital and did his best to treat him. The problem was that the hospital claimed nearly 10 million won in medical expenses, including CT tests, arm cast expenses, and hospitalization fees, just because of his identity as an unregistered migrant worker. Not long ago, the hospital had charged excessive medical expenses for unregistered foreigners, causing friction with migrant support groups. ("10 million won for appendicitis surgery..."... "Tears of an Unregistered Worker Born in 1995", Jeju Today 2019.12.20). The rate of medical tourists was applied at a rate of 2.5 times the insurance benefits and 1.5 times the non-insured benefits just because he was an unregistered foreigner. In other words, he had to pay nearly 4 million won for treatment.


Unfortunately, non-registered foreign workers are not eligible for the Korean National Health Insurance system under the current law system of South Korea, meaning they must pay for medical treatment out of pocket. It can be prohibitively costly, leaving these individuals without adequate healthcare.


To address this critical issue and problem, the Jeju Migrant Center affiliated with Jeju Foreigner Peace Community has been in collaboration with the Jubilee Medical Mutual Aid Association since April 2021. It allows foreign residents who are not covered by health insurance to receive medical treatment by paying a certain amount of monthly membership fee. Members can receive benefits such as insurance coverage, drug discounts, and support for emergency medical expenses.


The Jubilee Medical Mutual Aid Association is a mutual aid-type medical insurance system operated by private organizations. To join the Medical Mutual Aid Association, you must submit a membership application form, a confirmation of employment, a passport, and a personal information agreement in addition to the membership fee.


In the case of unregistered foreign workers who have paid the Jubilee membership fee, only 50% of the hospitalization fee and 50% of the outpatient treatment fee are required. 50% may be higher than the national health insurance subscribers who pay 30% to 60% of outpatient medical expenses and 20% of hospitalization fees. However, it is still much better than when the unregistered foreign workers had to pay 100% of medical expenses themselves.


You can only receive the benefits of the Medical Mutual Aid Association through partner hospitals in the region. The medical mutual aid cooperative hospitals in the Jeju province are Jeju National University Hospital, Joongang Hospital, Korea Hospital, and Seogwipo Medical Center as of Jan. 2023.

For more information about subscribing to mutual aid and applying for cooperative hospitals, you can contact the Jeju Migrant Center (Tel: 064-751-1141) or visit the link below.

Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Foreign Worker Support Center (jejumwc.kr) 《人权系列2:非注册外籍劳动力的医疗保健》




未注册的外国劳动力被认为是济州产业的主要贡献者。较低的工资和简单的雇佣过程有利于岛上不受欢迎的农业、渔业和其他3D产业部门的发展。根据2018年12月韩国移民协会发布的一份研究报告我们可以得知,济州岛农村地区的外籍劳动力招聘率为26%,其中9.6%为注册的外国人,16.2%为未注册外国人。济州的未注册外国人比例为60%,是全国平均水平30%的两倍。


非注册外籍劳动力的不稳定地位不仅可能危及济州社区的工作环境,而且可能会成为动摇整个济州产业基础的代表性风险因素。提高他们的居住和工作条件不应只是简单地通过侵入济州劳动力市场或增加济州产业的成本来解决,而应通过稳定他们的地位来加强济州产业。


2020年2月中旬,一个未注册外籍工作人员在农场工作时手臂和脸部受到重伤。农场主马上带他去了医院,让他得到及时的治疗。问题是,因为他的身份是一个未注册的外籍工作人员,所以院方要求近1000万韩元的医疗费,包括CT检查费用、手臂石膏费用和住院费。不久前,医院因为对未注册的外国人收取过高的医疗费用,与移民支持团体产生摩擦。(“为做阑尾炎手术支付10万韩元…..”….1995年出生的未注册工人的泪水”,今日济州2019年12月20日)。仅仅因为他是未登记的外国人,所以不能享受健康保健的福利。医疗游客的费用是有医疗保险人员的2.5倍,没有医疗保险人员的1.5倍。也就是说,他不得不支付近400万韩元的治疗费。


不幸的是,根据韩国现行法律制度,非注册外籍工作人员没有资格加入韩国国民健康保险。这意味着他们必须自付医疗费用。由于费用过高,会导致这些非注册外籍劳动者得不到足够的医疗保健。


为了解决这一重要问题,自2021年4月起,济州外国人和平社区附属的济州移民中心与禧年医疗互助协会合作。现在没有健康保险的外籍居民通过支付一定的月度会员费可以接受医疗。会员可以享受药物折扣和急诊药物费用的支持等福利。禧年医疗互助会是一个由民间组织运营的互助型医疗保险制度。要想加入医疗互助协会,必须提交会员申请表、雇佣确认书、护照和个人信息协议,以及会员费。


在已支付禧年会员费的情况下,外籍工作人员只需要支付50%的住院费和50%的门诊治疗费。这一比例高于加入国家健康保险的人员。一般,有健康保险的人员支付30%至60%的门诊医疗费用和20%的住院费用。但是,这仍然比未注册的外籍工作人员自己支付100%的医疗费用要好得多。


禧年的会员只能通过该地区的合作医院享受医疗互助协会的福利。截至2023年1月,济州的医疗互助合作医院是济州国立大学医院、中央医院、韩国医院和西归浦医疗中心。


如果想了解医疗互助协会和合作医院的更多信息,您可以联系济州移民中心(Tel: 064-751-1141)或访问以下链接。


济州特别自治道外籍劳动人员支持中心 (jejumwc.kr)






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