SEOUL, Jan. 22 (Korea Bizwire) — South Koreans differ on self-perception about health depending on the amount of income they receive, a recent study revealed.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare conducted a survey of 13,000 members of 6,000 households over 15 years of age, 53.9 percent of whom regarded themselves as ‘healthy’.
Only 30.9 percent of respondents from the lower 20 percent of the income ladder (fifth quintile), however, saw themselves as healthy.
Respondents from the fourth (64.4 percent), third (74.9 percent), second (79.3 percent), and first (73 percent) quintiles all felt healthier about themselves than the lowest group.
The study showed that the gap in self-perception about health can reach almost 50 percentage points depending on the income gap.
Between July 2018 and June 2019, 71.3 percent of respondents visited a local hospital for treatment at least once a year, while 4.6 percent were hospitalized.
Among them, 27.6 percent were diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, and other kinds of chronic illnesses.
Based on household income, 69.2 percent in the lowest quintile of the income ladder visited a hospital for treatment, compared to 63.9 percent for the fourth quintile, 68.6 percent for the third quintile, 71.5 percent for the second quintile, and 88.3 percent for the top quintile.
Another 10 percent of the lowest income tier said they did not seek any medical services, which was lower than the 26.6 percent reported for the fourth quintile, 30.8 percent for the third quintile, 35.3 percent for the second quintile, and 30 percent for the top group of income earners.
Roughly three quarters of the respondents said that stronger medical support should be provided to vulnerable groups.
Another 70.4 percent of respondents said that measures should be in place to prevent patients from overcrowding large hospitals.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)