Hospitals Know Need for ESG but Run Short of Personnel, Departments

Published on: 16 November 2022
by KnowESG
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A survey showed that Korean medical institutions recognize the need for and importance of introducing ESG management. Still, fewer than half of them have personnel and departments exclusively responsible for it.

The Korean Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) released the results of its survey, “Medical institutions’ ESG awareness and implementation of ESG management in 2022,” conducted on people working at institutions seeking international healthcare business.

ESG (environmental, social, and governance) has emerged as the new keyword for global businesses, reflecting their rising awareness of sustainability.

Aside from providing healthcare services, medical institutions are also required to improve ESG activities by, for example, giving money to the community, taking steps that are good for the environment, making decisions openly, and sharing information.

ESG management has become essential for medical institutions wanting to strengthen their global competitiveness by attracting foreign patients and advancing abroad.

Accordingly, the KHIDI’s International Medical Market Analysis Team conducted an online opinion poll on the employees of 1,769 medical institutions seeking to go abroad and lure foreign patients from Oct. 20–31, receiving replies from 877 medical workers.

In the survey, 85.1 per cent of respondents, or 747 workers, said they knew about ESG, reflecting high awareness of it in the medical community.

Among the positive respondents, 19.8 per cent (174 people) replied it is “very important,” and 37.4 per cent (328) answered it is “somewhat important.” More than half of hospital employees (58.6 per cent (514) thought it was important.

Asked whether their institutions are engaged in ESG activities, 93.9 per cent (832) said yes about E (environmental), followed by 91.8 per cent (805) who cited S (social) and 80.5 per cent (706) who cited G (governance).

As specific ESG activities the institutions were engaged in, they cited the use of personal cups and reducing disposable goods at funeral facilities in the E area, improved safety, and health systems within hospitals and safer healthcare services in the S area, and fair personnel management, expanded participation in management and transparent decision-making in the G area.

However, fewer than half (45 per cent) said their institutions had operating personnel or divisions exclusively responsible for ESG activities.

Among the 359 workers who said “yes,” 362 (91.6 per cent) said their institutions have an ESG vision and established strategic systems.

“If hospitals have people or organisations related to it, we can assume they have established relevant visions and strategies,” the KHIDI said.

Also, 53.8% of those who answered said that foreign governments or global insurance companies have asked them about ESG management in international healthcare projects or told them about it.

As a result of the survey, we knew that 85 per cent of hospital workers are aware of ESG management or are engaged in related activities. But only 45 per cent of these institutions have people or groups in charge of ESG management. "We need to convince them to set up visions or strategies for ESG management," said Lee Haeng-shin, head of KHIDI's International Healthcare Strategy Corps.

Noting that Korean hospitals receive ESG-related requests from overseas, the KHIDI could confirm that ESG management has become a global management trend, Lee said, "KHIDI will help hospitals improve their ESG management by giving them a variety of information about ESG management."

Source: Korea Biomedical Review

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