Korean Life Expectancy on Par with Advanced Countries'

      November 22, 2013 12:36

      Life expectancy in Korea is 81.1 years, according to an OECD health report released on Thursday.

      That is shorter than Japan's 82.7 years, France's 82.2 and Sweden's 81.9, but longer than Germany's 80.6 and the U.S.' 78.7 years and the same as in the U.K.

      The report is based on data from 2011, and the life expectancy here rose 0.7 years since 2009.

      Since the global financial crisis in 2008, 11 out of 33 OECD member states saw health spending fall. In Greece, spending fell 11.1 percent between 2009 and 2011, and in Ireland 6.6 percent.

      Korea had one of the highest increase rates in health spending per capita from 2000 to 2008 with an average of 9.3 percent per year, but since 2008 it grew only 6.3 percent.

      Koreans used medical services more than any other citizens of the OECD, with an average of 13.2 visits to the doctor a year.

      Jang Young-sik, a researcher at the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, commented, "Thanks to improved medical improvement and nutrition, the health of Koreans is on a par with that of people in advanced countries. What matters now is not life expectancy per se but the health-adjusted life expectancy, which indicates how long people can expect to be healthy."

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