Even though the level of healthcare has improved in Korea, the nation’s chronic disease management needs improvement, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said Monday.
The ministry’s comment is based on a report the OECD released last Friday entitled the “Health Care Quality Indicators Project.” The project collected and analyzed key health indicators from the member countries of relatively wealthy countries’ club until 2015.
The report showed that the level of acute care prescriptions, such as acute myocardial infarction and stroke, are continuously improving in Korea. The report also outlined that Korea had the best treatment outcomes for stroke and colorectal cancer among OECD countries. However, Korea’s performance in managing preventable chronic diseases was rather weak.
For acute care, the 30-day mortality rates for ischemic stroke and acute myocardial infarction were at 3.9 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively, compared with the OECD average of 8.2 percent and 7.5 percent.
Also, survival rates for colon and breast cancer were at 71.6 percent and 86.3 percent, respectively, higher than the OECD average of 63 percent and 85 percent. The survival rate of rectal cancer was highest among OECD countries with 71 percent.
However, the hospitalization rates for preventable illnesses such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes were higher than OECD average. Out of every 100,000 citizens, Korea had an average hospitalization of 94.5 patients for asthma, 214.2 patients for COPD and 281 patients with diabetes. The OECD average of patients hospitalized for the diseases above stood at 46.7, 189.8 and 137.2 percent, respectively.
“The high rate of admission due to asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes means that these illnesses have worsened due to lack of management at the primary medical level or that inpatient beds were utilized inefficiently,” a ministry 보건복지부 official said.
There is a need to strengthen management of chronic diseases, the official added.
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