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Medical costs soar at big 5 hospitals
  • By Yang Geum-deok
  • Published 2017.08.30 17:03
  • Updated 2017.08.30 17:03
  • comments 0

The medical costs at five largest hospitals in Korea have soared 12.2 percent to 1.45 trillion won ($1.2 billion) in the first half of this year from a year earlier. The figure accounted for 7.3 percent of the total costs at medical institutions and 35.8 percent of those at tertiary general hospitals.

The Big 5 hospitals refer to Seoul National University Hospital서울대병원, Asan Medical Center서울아산병원, Samsung Medical Center삼성서울병원, Catholic University of Korea Seoul St. Mary's Hospital서울성모병원, and Severance Hospital세브란스병원.

According to the statistics by Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA)건강보험심사평가원 and National Health Insurance Service(NHIS)국민건강보험공단, costs for medical examinations went up 9.2 percent to 38.72 trillion won in the first half of this year from the same period of last year.

The medical costs, covered by the national health insurance, also went up 9.2 percent to 33.98 trillion won in the first half of this year from a year earlier.

Insured drug costs paid to NHIS’s medical care institutions also rose 9.2 percent to 25.36 trillion won.

Costs for basic treatment activity showed the fastest 43.6 percent rise, followed by treatment costs increasing 27 percent, drug costs going up 25.15 percent and material fees, 4.12 percent.

By institutions, dental hospitals saw the fastest rise in costs with 27 percent, followed by dental clinics with 23.1 percent and oriental hospitals with 16.1 percent.

The medical costs in clinics have increased 7.6 percent to 6.86 trillion won from a year earlier. Gynecology had the fastest rise in costs with 22.2 percent, followed by ophthalmology with 11.6 percent and urology with 10 percent.

Internal medicine showed the highest rise by 96 billion won to mark 1.23 trillion won in medical costs in the first half.

The medical cost per person was 671,587 won in the first half, up 8.72 percent from a year earlier. The medical cost per person aged 10 or younger was 486,769 won, accounting for 72 percent of the average medical cost per person. It inched down by 0.72 percent over the same period.

However, the medical cost per person aged 70 or older was 2.2 million won in the first half, 3.3 times higher than the average medical cost per person.

The total medical cost for people aged 65 or older was 13.56 trillion won, accounting for 39.9 percent of the total costs and has increased 1.5 percentage points from a year earlier. Monthly average medical cost per person has increased to 344,238 won by 27,580 won from a year earlier.

Senile cataract was the most common disease that required treatment for people aged 65 or older, with 119,256 people having treatment in the first half. Another 2.3 million outpatients with the same age group received treatment for essential hypertension.

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