The Cabinet on Tuesday approved the revised Government Organization Act, which passed the National Assembly in August.
The move — aimed at strengthening the body’s expertise and independence — will take effect from Saturday.
President Moon Jae-in, who chaired the meeting, said it’s a step forward in the fight against infectious diseases.
We will be able to raise our response system against infectious diseases and our public healthcare capacity, that’s already being highly praised globally, to another level. I ask for a strengthened response system that can evolve on the upgraded body. We must overcome the critical resurgence of COVID-19 and control the situation stably as soon as possible.
Initially, under the health ministry, the upgraded body will handle its own budget and personnel affairs, as well as implement policies related to infectious diseases and carry out its own R&D.
Separately, the health ministry will also allow two vice ministers from the current one — to bolster public healthcare efforts.
The first will oversee welfare, planning and coordination matters, while the second will manage public health affairs.