SEOUL, Jun. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — Approximately 2 million Koreans received medical treatment following car accidents last year, with the total medical costs paid out by car insurance companies amounting to approximately 1.7 trillion won. Of those requiring medical care, 6 out of 10 were diagnosed with neck injuries. The average medical cost per person was 810,000 won, and a majority of patients sought medical treatment at oriental medicine clinics.
On June 27, the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA) released a report on medical expenses resulting from car accidents.
Total annual medical treatment costs and the number of patients whose medical costs were covered by car insurance companies increased steadily from 2014 to 2016.
“The number of car accidents and related medical costs increased, but the growth stopped around 2015 when insurance companies tightened their policies”, said an official from the HIRA.
There were roughly 1.2 million Korean men in car accidents last year (58.3 percent), surpassing the number of female patients, but women had higher medical costs per person (870,000 won) compared to men (770,000 won).
The city or region with the highest medical expenses from car accidents per person last year was Gwangju, at 960,000 won, followed by Jeonbuk, Daejeon, Busan and Jeonnam at 910,000 won, 870,000 won, 840,000 won and 830,000 won, respectively.
Of those receiving medical treatment following car accidents, 56.3 percent were diagnosed with and treated for cervical vertebrae sprains, with lumbar and pelvis sprains ranking second, accounting for 25.8 percent.
The number of inpatients decreased from 730,000 in 2014 to 690,000 in 2016, and outpatients decreased from 1,570,000 to 1,720,000 over the same period. This trend represents the increasing proportion of outpatient clinic practice in car accident treatment.
The number of patients who sought oriental medicine treatment increased significantly. Patients who were treated with oriental medicine increased by 50.7 percent from 480,000 in 2014 to 720,000 in 2016, whereas patients who were treated at medical or dental hospitals only increased by 0.6 percent in the same period.
“We will disclose the statistical data of medical expenses from car insurance on our homepage,” the HIRA said, adding, “The data is expected to be organized into a visualized form so that everyone can easily take advantage of it.”
by Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)