SEOUL, July 28 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea is enhancing the size of medical subsidies provided to women pregnant with multiple children.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced Thursday that medical vouchers for such women, which were previously limited to 1.4 million won (US$1,090), regardless of the number of babies they were carrying (twins or triplets), will now be expanded to 1 million won for each baby.
To support pregnant women expecting multiple children, the government will amend the Labor Standards Act, allowing them to sign up for flexible working hours within three months of pregnancy or after eight months (32 weeks).
The government will also explore the possibility of granting women pregnant with more than triplets the option to claim reduced working hours after 28 weeks into their pregnancy.
Presently, women pregnant with multiple children can only claim shortened working hours within 12 weeks of pregnancy or after 36 weeks.
However, this fails to consider the fact that many women end up giving birth prematurely before reaching 36 weeks.
The government will also increase the number of postnatal care staff from two to three for triplets and four for quadruplets. The duration of the postnatal care service will be extended up to 40 days.
The provision of subsidies for infertility treatment will not be based on income standards. Couples planning to have children will also receive subsidies to cover the required fertility test expenses.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)