July 20, 2021 13:32
As Korean society ages, the country tops OECD member states in terms of outpatient visits to hospital per person, although the number of medical professionals is smaller than the OECD average.
Korea's life expectancy at birth is 83.3 years, 2.3 years longer than the OECD average. According to analysis of 2019 OECD statistics released by the Ministry of Health and Welfare on Monday, Korea's life expectancy was still 1.1 years shorter than Japan's. Men's life expectancy was 80.3 years and women's 86.3 years.
But Korea's suicide rate was also the highest in the rich countries' club at 24.7 per 100,000 population in 2018, more than double the OECD average of 11.
In other health risk factors, 16.4 percent of the population smoke, the same as the OECD average, and the per capita consumption of alcohol is 8.3 liters per year, slightly less than the average of 8.8 liters.
The percentage of overweight or obese people is 33.7 percent, the second lowest after Japan's 27.2 percent. But Korea's proportion of overweight and obese people increased from 30.5 percent in 2009 to 33.7 percent in 2019.
The annual number of outpatient visits to hospital is 17.2 per person, the highest in the OECD countries and a whopping 2.5 times the OECD average of 6.8. The average length of a hospital stay per patient was 18 days, the second longest after Japan's 27.3 days. But the number of doctors is only 2.5 per 1,000 population compared to the OECD average of 3.6.
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