SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Korea Bizwire) – According to a recent analysis on social costs caused by diseases, suicide cost approximately 6.48 trillion won (US$5.94 billion) directly and indirectly last year.
The Health Insurance Policy Research Institute, which operates under the National Health Insurance Service, released the study, which calculates the direct costs caused by major diseases including medical expenses, transportation costs, and attendance allowances as well as indirect costs such as loss of future income due to early death, and productivity losses caused by medical treatments.
According to the report, the total social cost from diseases as of 2012 was 120.6 trillion won, 8.8 percent of GDP that year. It increased by 24.2 percent from the previous study, which was conducted in 2008 and reported a social cost of 97.18 trillion won.
Among the 20 categories, the “Loss and Addiction” category took the lion’s share with 16.2 percent. The category includes suicides, injuries and addiction to drugs or non-medical substances. Among the subcategories, suicide took 33.2 percent, the largest share.
Meanwhile, cancer caused the second largest social loss at 15.34 trillion won, followed by circulatory system diseases (11.6%), musculoskeletal diseases (10.6%), digestive system diseases (9.3%) and respiratory diseases (8.0%).
A research fellow of the institute said, “The social costs caused by suicides and accidents are larger than other diseases, and the age group over 50 causes more loss to society. Korean society needs to prepare countermeasures to reduce the social costs of suicide along with other diseases.”
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)