The problem of unmet healthcare needs remains unsolved for hypertension patients who require steady caring, a recent report showed.
It defined unmet healthcare needs as the situation where “people cannot receive healthcare that they want or are judged necessary by medical experts.” The report, titled “Korean hypertension patients’ healthcare access, actual conditions of unmet healthcare needs and the analysis of risk factors,” was published in the Korean Society of Adult Nursing Journal.
The two authors – Professors Oh Hee-young오희영 of Eulji University and Gil Eun-ha길은하 of Daejeon Institute of Science and Technology – analyzed the occurrence rate of unmet healthcare needs among high-blood-pressure patients based on the 2013 data at Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA)한국보건사회연구원 and National Health Insurance Service(NHIS)국민건강보험공단.
As a result, they found the occurrence rate of unmet healthcare needs for hypertension patients was 18.9 percent.
As to why, “economic reasons” topped the list with 43.2 percent, followed by “lightness of symptom” with 19.4 percent, “lack of time” with 16.4 percent and “reduced mobility or other health reasons” with 12.4 percent.
The authors said the occurrence of unmet healthcare needs are problems that should be solved by all means because they pose obstacles not only to prevention and treatment but also to barriers to easing and eliminating symptoms.
"High blood pressure is one of the most common diseases in Korean adults 40 or older with the prevalence rate of 25-30 percent, but unmet healthcare needs are pressing problems,” the researchers said. “If the patients fail to receive proper treatment and follow-up care, they may suffer from severe complications, such as stroke, poor eyesight, and renal failure.”
"Especially, their drug compliance rate is only 80 percent with 60.6 percent and 49 percent of patients failing to receive funduscopy test and microalbuminuria test critical for preventing complications,” they added
This notwithstanding, researches into unmet healthcare needs for high blood pressure fall far short of expectations in Kora, they said, emphasizing that the healthcare authorities have to work out a policy to improve medical insurance. The risk of unmet healthcare needs can increase if people suffer from complications resulting from aggravating symptoms, the researchers stressed.
"Unmet healthcare needs serve as the standards to evaluate the efficacy of healthcare policy and medical care services of a society and a yardstick to judge whether it pursues a welfare state,” the report said. “It is important to analyze the level and cause of unmet healthcare needs."
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