Health Care, Disease Control, Crime and Safety in South Korea
The Ministry of Health and Welfare oversees health structure of South Korea together with various health agencies and organizations. In 2005, the nation allocated 5.9% of its GDP to health expenditures. Life expectancy in South Korea for males is 75 years and 82 for females. The ministry reported that chronic diseases remain major causes of diseases in the country with 24% rate. The cases of AIDS/HIV in South Korea is notably low compare to other modern countries with less than 0.1% by the end of 2003.
The National Health Institute (NSI) introduced the first social security program in the country with the main purpose of providing health benefits to the whole population. The 2 major health policies recently initiated by the South Korean government are the Separation Policy and Consolidation of insurance funds. The Separation Policy Law was passed in 1994 and implemented in July of 2000. It resulted to a reduced in overuse/misuse of drugs, enhanced transparency for pharmaceutical transactions, and more defined role of physicians and pharmacists. The Consolidation of Insurance Funds has 2 phases: partial merger in1998 and full merger in 2000.
Over the past years, it has been noted that health care costs in South Korea have been rising rapidly. This is attributed to the characteristics of the health care system as well as aging of the population, innovative technologies, and increased in public health consciousness.