This survey is designed to provide basic information for the proper supply-demand management of health and medical care resources in order to maintain an appropriate level of medical costs, and to improve accessibility to medical services. Moreover, the information may be useful for local municipalities in establishing health and medical care policies fitting their requirements. The data obtained through the survey can be submitted to international organizations such as OECD at their request.
The survey is based on the Framework Act on Health and Medical Services so that reliable and accurate data can be obtained by employing real-time survey and management monitoring on health and medical resources, and conducting analyses on medical service utilization. Out of the total population of Korea, two percent of the population was sampled from individuals covered by national health insurance, and those who are eligible for medical care assistance to be analyzed for their medical service utilization. For the survey on health and medical care utilization, the total number of inpatients and outpatients of healthcare and medical institutes, days of hospitalization (or hospital visit), total medical costs (medical benefits), detailed medical care utilization information by region, age, insurance premium, medical department, disease, and usage of medical institute within patient’s neighborhood was recorded. Analyses of medical care utilization was conducted by region, patient age, insurance premium, medical benefit, and disease. Data from the National Health Insurance Service was reviewed as well, in order to obtain more accurate statistics.
The survey found that people covered by the national health insurance tend to live in Seoul and Gyeonggi-do, and those eligible for medical care assistance were also residing in regions other than Seoul and Gyeonggi-do. Out of those covered by the national health insurance, the number of male beneficiaries was greater than female, and there were more female beneficiaries of medical care assistance than male. When it comes to medical care utilization, beneficiaries of medical care assistance tend to show high service utilization rates. Outpatient service utilization rates of the national health insurance holders was highest in Jeollabuk-do and lowest in Seoul and Gwangju. Hospitalization rates of the beneficiaries of national health insurance and medical care assistance was highest in Jeollanam-do and lowest in Seoul. Hospitalization rates of those eligible for medical care assistance was highest in Gyeongsangnam-do and lowest in Jeju. It was also found that for senior citizens who are 75 years or older, hospitalization was more necessary that outpatient services. In large cities, unspecified acute bronchitis, hypertension, back pain, and pulpitis (in that order) were the diseases with highest numbers of outpatients. In provincial areas, hypertension, unspecified acute bronchitis, back pain and tonsillitis were the most common diseases for those covered by national health insurance.