One in five Koreans is unable to go to hospital when they feel ill due to time or financial constraints. In a study of 12,701 people by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, 21.5 percent said they had experienced times in the past year when they were unable to go to hospital although they needed to.
The most frequently cited reasons were lack of time with 35.2 percent, symptoms that were not serious enough with 27 percent, and the cost with 24.2 percent.
More women (23.1 percent) than men (19.6 percent) and more disabled (25.5 percent) than able-bodied (21.3 percent) people were unable to seek medical help.
The oldest age group of over 80 was most often unable to go to hospital with 24.3 percent, followed by those in their 40s with 23.7 percent. For people over 65, the cost were the biggest reason, whereas for younger people it was lack of time.