Korea, Republic of (ROK) - Health

The substantial improvement in health care is directly related to improvement of diet, the rise in living standards, and the development of health and medical programs. Since the late 1970s, medical security, in the form of medical insurance and medical aid, has been expanded to cover a substantial portion of the population. The national medical insurance system was expanded in 1989, covering 94% of the population. In 1985– 1995, 100% of the population had access to health care services. About 5.4% of the GDP went to health expenditures as of 1999. In the mid-1990s, there were 236 general hospitals, 351 hospitals, 6 dental hospitals, 12,629 clinics, 6,708 dental clinics, 269 maternity clinics, 53 herb doctor hospitals, and 4,062 herb doctor clinics. As of 1999, there were an estimated 1.3 physicians and 5.5 hospital beds per 1,000 people. In 2000, 92% of the population had access to safe drinking water and 63% had adequate sanitation.

The fertility rate in 2000 was 1.4 children per woman surviving her childbearing years. In 1993–96, 4% of all births were low birth weight. About 79% of married women (aged 15-49) used contraception in the years 1989–1995. In 1990-1994, immunization rates for children up to one year of age were tuberculosis, 72%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 74%; polio, 79%; and measles, 93%. The 2000 infant mortality rate was 8 per 1,000 live births and the general mortality rate was 6 per 1,000 inhabitants. Tobacco consumption has risen substantially from 2.7 kg (6.0 lbs) to 3.2 kg (7.1 lbs) a year per adult in 1995.

As of 1999 the number of people living with HIV/AIDS was estimated at 3,800 and deaths from AIDS that year were estimated at 180. HIV prevalence was 0.01 per 100 adults. In 1994, there were 68,907 deaths related to cardiovascular disease and 14,730 deaths caused by traffic motor vehicle accidents. In 1999, there were about 69 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 people. Life expectancy was 73 years in 2000.

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