The nation's elderly population continues to grow, and with it, national healthcare expenditures.
In a report released Monday, the Ministry of Health and Welfare projected national healthcare spending to increase three-fold over the next decade, taking up more than 11 percent of the country's GDP.
The ministry expects the figure to rise from last year's W81 trillion to roughly W256 trillion by the year 2020 (US$1=W1,082). That would place Korea on par with France, where the expenditure accounts for the largest percentage of GDP among members of the OECD.
Ministry officials added that they are reviewing various measures to redesign health policies to ease the burden on the country's economy and citizens.