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NHIS website glitch warns of heat-related illnesses during cold snap

Nov. 29, 2023 - 17:35 By Park Ye-eun
The National Health Insurance Service's website warned of a "dangerous level" of risk of heat-related illnesses at the end of November, just as temperatures dropped below freezing. (Screenshot from the National Health Insurance Service website)

The website of the National Health Insurance Service warned of a "dangerous" level of risk of heat-related illnesses Tuesday, just as the country is going through a cold snap, adding fuel to public anger over a series of breakdowns in online government services in recent weeks here.

The warning, which appeared on the NHIS homepage and alarm service page, came on the heels of four major breakdowns that hit South Korea's administrative service networks over the course of a week starting Nov. 15, bringing down the mobile and website versions of its Saeol, Government24, resident registration system and e-procurement system, leaving some essential services inaccessible for days.

In this latest malfunction of a digital government service here, the NHIS warned of a "dangerous" level of heat-related illnesses on both its homepage and alarm service page.

However, the high for Tuesday was only around 10 degrees Celsius, and in the case of the Seoul metropolitan area, the low was a frosty minus 3 degrees Celsius.

The NHIS’ alarm service provides health warnings using data from its own national health information database, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety and the Korea Meteorological Administration, as well as from other sources such as blogs and news.

The authority categorizes its warnings into four levels: attention, caution, warning and dangerous.

A "dangerous" level of heat-related illnesses appeared as a warning on the alarm service of the NHIS' website on Tuesday. (Screenshot of National Health Insurance Service website)

"We became aware that there was a system error and have removed it from the alarm service page, and are currently taking measures to correct the system," an NHIS official said.