Disease-Related Costs Reach W120 Trillion a Year

      February 10, 2015 10:27

      The socioeconomic cost of diseases stood at more than W120 trillion a year in 2012, a report by the National Health Insurance Service on Monday suggests (US$1=W1,100). The service tallied the direct and indirect annual costs from 2008 to 2012.

      The costs had jumped 24.2 percent over the period from W97 trillion in 2008 to W120.7 trillion in 2012, 8.8 percent of the country's GDP.

      Direct costs include medical expenses, nursing fees and travel to hospital, and indirect costs take into account productivity and future income loss caused by diseases.

      Medical expenses took up the largest proportion with 48.8 percent or W58.8 trillion. Next came future income loss caused by early death (26.8 percent), productivity loss (18.1 percent), nursing fees (5.1 percent), and travel (1.2 percent). Bone fractures, suicide and alcoholism were most common types of causes. 

      Men spent 1.5 times more than women with W73.2 trillion to W47.6 trillion, but women accrued 39.5 percent of the cost in 2012, up from 37.1 percent in 2008. Some 70.9 percent of the overall cost accrued among people over 40.

      Dr. Hyun Kyung-lae of the NHIS said, "The government needs measures to prevent and manage these losses, because those in the highly productive age brackets from 20s to 40s are most vulnerable to them."

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