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‘No-shows’ rise at national university hospitals
  • By Choi Gwang-seok
  • Published 2017.10.24 16:36
  • Updated 2017.10.24 16:36
  • comments 0

Patient no-shows -- people not attending to appointments with a physician -- are on the rise at national university hospitals, which requires a countermeasure, a lawmaker said Tuesday.

Rep. An Min-suk of the ruling Democratic Party said 14 national university hospitals suffered 13.4 percent rate of no-shows in August, up 1 percentage point from 12.4 percent a year earlier. An said so after analyzing the Ministry of Education’s no-show data on outpatients at the 14 hospitals between 2016 and 2017.

Nine national university hospitals, including Seoul National University Hospital, saw its no-show rate increase this year from a year earlier. Chungnam National University Hospital suffered the fastest rise of 29.3 percent this year, up 6.7 percentage points from 22.6 percent a year earlier. Kangwon National University Hospital, which topped the rate at 26.3 percent in August last year, ranked second this year with 27 percent. Chonnam National University Hospital came next with 13.4 percent, followed by SNUH with 12.4 percent. Jeju National University Hospital and Chungbuk National University Hospital also saw their no-show rates surpassing 10 percent this year.

On the other hand, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital’s no-show rate dropped by the largest margin of 9.2 percent in August, from 10.6 percent a year earlier.

According to the Korea Economic Research Institute, the no-show rate at hospitals is second highest at 18 percent among the five largest service industries, only lower than 20 percent rate at restaurants. The annual loss in revenues resulting from no-shows in the five service industries reaches 4.5 trillion won ($3.9 billion) each year, the think tank said.

“Patient no-shows not only damages hospitals’ business but raises risks for urgent patients who could miss the timing of appropriate treatments,” An said. “To minimize no-shows, each hospital should overhaul their appointment systems. The government should also make more efforts such as conducting a campaign to help people keep their appointments.”

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