Health Care System in Korea
Health Care System in South Korea. Health Care system can be defined as the care and service which is been given to any individual by the help of medical and health related professionals. Health care also means to treat, manage and prevent the health of all humans. Health care is an important aspect of life as every individual needs to be healthy, and without health care it is not possible to remain fit. In South Korea National Health Insurance (NHI) compulsorily provides health care.
Even the foreigners who reside in South Korea and are registered with the National Health Insurance corporation gets the equal medical benefits and care as the nationals over there get. All the people residing in the country are eligible to health care without considering any nationality or profession.
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General hospitals, oriental hospitals, public health centre’s and also the private hospitals provides a high quality health services. South Korea is experiencing the sharply increasing life expectancy. Traditionally people find it a burden to look after the elders in their houses.
To tackle with this situation government has launched a Long Term Care Insurance program in July 2008, in almost all the places in South Korea as a Pilot Implementation study. As a result of health financial deficit and increase in the number of elderly population, South Korea is becoming an aging society faster than any other country. Along with the increased number of elders there is a faster increase in the medical expenditure for chronic degenerative diseases, this has become a burden socially. To reduce the burden, especially on the young generation the government is endeavoring, through health care reforms.
Increment in the health care facilities and introduction of various other Insurances are the measures undertaken by The MIHWAF. Access to medical care services in South Korea should be addressed due to the regional inequalities. In urban areas there are many private medical facilities located, where as only 79. 7% of population lives in urban areas but there are 92. 1% of physicians and 90. 8% of hospital beds in urban areas. For low income households The Medical Aid Program was launched in 1979 after the promulgation of the Medical Act in 1977.
In this program all the expenses on the health care was paid by the government for all those who were not able to afford the expenditures. The Medical Aid Program covered the patients with rare, intractable, and chronic diseases also the children under the age of 18 (after 2004). The government now is facing some difficulties to provide the health care services for the low income people so it has joined hand with the National Health Insurance program for funding the Medical Aid Program. The inequality in the utilization of medical care by cancer patients of south Korea according to the type of medical facilities and survival duration.
The cancer patients of high incomes used all the high prices medical services, inpatient and outpatient care more than the patients with low income. The major tertiary hospitals was very famous for providing better medical care than any other hospitals so all the high income people got them selves treated over there. The inequality in the cancer care expenditure was only in the favor of the high income people as the low income people could not afford it. In conclusion, the income of a person affects the health care system and the facilities they get.