SEOUL, Oct. 2 (Korea Bizwire) — Pregnant women with disabilities bear a higher cost to deliver their children than those without disabilities.
Rep. Jin Sun-mee of the ruling Democratic Party reported that a pregnant women with disabilities spent an average of 1.9 million won (US$1,600) for medical treatment, which is more than the cost borne by those without disabilities (1.7 million won).
Pregnant women with disabilities are more likely to visit advanced medical centers and go through cesarean delivery, resulting in a longer duration of hospitalization, hence the higher medical costs.
Roughly one quarter of women with disabilities visited advanced medical centers, including advanced general hospitals, compared to only 15.5 percent of those without disabilities.
Among pregnant women with disabilities, 59.8 percent chose to have a cesarean section, which is higher than the rate among those without disabilities (47.8 percent).
Pregnant women with disabilities tended to stay hospitalized over a longer period than those without disabilities.
There were not enough services available for pregnant women with disabilities to overcome difficulties that come by during pregnancy and delivery.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare has been designating disability-friendly gynecology centers since 2013, but there are only 13 of them currently in operation.
Only 63 percent of women with disabilities were found to have used caretaker services for mothers and newborn infants after birth.
“Mothers with disabilities need additional assistance in recovering from post-delivery illnesses and taking care of their newborn child, but the usage rate for related services is just too low,” said Jin.
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)