South Korea ranked last among 30 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries in terms of health spending, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said yesterday.
According to the ministry’s report, titled ``OECD Health Data 2006,’’ South Korea’s total expense on health accounted for only 5.6 percent of GDP in 2004, which is the smallest percentage among OECD member countries.
In particular, the portion of South Koreans’ health expenses covered by the government accounted for 2.9 percent of the GDP in 2004, the lowest among OECD countries.
Health expenses covered by individuals accounted for 2.7 percent of the GDP, ranking the country 11th among OECD members.
Among the countries with health expenses surpassing 10 percent of GDP were the United States with 15.3 percent, Switzerland with 11.6 percent, Germany with 10.9 percent, France with 10.5 percent, Belgium with 10.1 percent, Greece with 10 percent and Portugal with 10 percent.
In terms of amount, South Korea ranked 25th with $787 spent for health per person on average. The countries with spending lower than South Korea included Czechoslovakia with $770, Mexico with $424, Poland with $410, Slovakia with $360 and Turkey with $322.
The United States had the largest spending on health with $6,102 for each individual on average, which represented eight times more than that of South Korea.