South Korea is becoming a powerful Asian manufacturing giant with world-class companies like Samsung and Hyundai. As a result, it has been able to improve the health care of its citizens. Highland Capital has raised $147 million for a South Korean health care investment fund to continue the progress.
“South Korea Universal National Health Insurance (NHI)”
With industrial success comes reward and the South Korean National Health Insurance (NHI) has been gradually expanded to provide universal coverage. It all started in 1977 when the South Korean government mandated health coverage for all firms of more than 500 employees. In 1989, the health coverage added all citizens.
Unfortunately, the 1997 Asian crisis lead to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stepping in to fill in government budget holes. The lessons of South Korea are important for the United States, which seems to still be hesitant to establish full universal health care, having back tracked under President Trump in 2017.
“South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) Anchors Fund”
South Korea still retains a high-level of coordination between the public and private sector. Therefore, it should be no surprise that South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS) will anchor the Highland Capital fund. Highland can use its financial expertise to find the best medical firms in the North America and Asia.
Dallas, Texas, United States based Highland Capital Management needs the support of solid South Korean powerhouses to make its healthcare-focused private equity fund successful. The NPS is valued at $499.8 billion. The South Korean private equity firm, Stonebridge Capital will co-manage this fund.
The primary businesses targeted by the Highland fund will be middle market healthcare companies in North America and Asia. In some respects, this development might be a way to “pump prime” the United States health care industry. After Trump ended Obamacare, the United States medical industry is looking for new sources of funding.
It is ironic that the South Korean government is willing to raise its investment in healthcare while the United States government is lowering it. Perhaps, this is another sign of the Rise of the East.