Unmet Medical Needs

Indicator Description

  • A. Definition

    The rate of respondents who were not able to go to the hospital (except for dentistry) for the past year

  • B. How to measure

    Number of respondents who said “Yes” to the question: “Have you ever been unable to go to a hospital (except for dentistry) for the past year?”

  • C. Features and Sources

    Category Sub-Category Sub-Subcategory Type of Indicator Reference Data Sources First year data available Periodicity
    Social Rights Right to Health Access to Health Services Subjective/Result Ministry of Health and Welfare National Health and Nutrition Survey 1998 1 year
  • D. Interpretation

    Article 24 of the Basic Law on Healthy Families in Korea states that “national and local governments should provide comprehensive health promotion measures for family members in accordance with life cycles such as young children, children, adolescents, middle-aged and elderly.” Article 6 (1) of the National Health Promotion Act also clarifies that access to health services is the fundamental right of human beings by stipulating that ‘national and local governments should support the people to practice their health life.
    “The unmet medical rate” surveyed by the National Health and Nutrition Survey (classified as “untreated” until 2013) represents the cases in which individual citizens were involuntarily not getting medical benefits at an appropriate time. Unmet medical care is a separate issue from the provision or expansion of physical and institutional medical infrastructures, hospital beds, and public insurance. Rather than that, the occurrence of unmet medical care refers to the gap between the medical benefits provided and the actual benefits that individuals can enjoy.
    According to the survey, the rate of 22.4% in 2007 steadily declined to 12.6% in 2015, and women (15.4% in 2015) were more likely to miss the hospital than men (9.7% in 2015). By age, the unemployment rate was higher than 40 and over 70, and the unemployment rate was higher in rural areas than in urban areas.

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