Friday, November 9, 2007

Health Issues in the News

Recently, research company AC Nielsen conducted a survey of 26,486 people in 47 countries including South Korea. South Korea had the largest number of people suffering from colds, headaches, indigestion or toothaches during a month long timeframe.

Surprisingly, 50% of the Koreans polled stated they suffered from a cold while 50% stated they had suffered from headaches and 49% had suffered from digestive problems. But Koreans are not afraid to go to the doctor, 43% stated that they see a doctor when they are sick. This reminds me of when my husband suffered from food poisoning a month ago and missed a day of work. His Korean co-workers asked if he had gone to the hospital to see a doctor and were surprised that he didn't. Apparently, if you are too sick to work, you need to see a doctor.

A big concern with hospitals is a growing lack of surgeons. The Korean Surgical Society reported that 71.4% of hospitals managed to meet the minimum requirements for surgeons this year. They also stated that 34 or 200 residents this year have quit during their internship.

Surgeons, due to government regulations, receive 36% of the patient's fee. Surgeons also run a higher risk of law suits (a lot like the US). The job of a surgeon is also very stressful with long hours and heavy workloads.

I'm learning that even socialized medicine has it's problems.

On other note, we had two more American visitors yesterday: Paris Hilton and Beyonce! I'm not sure why Paris is here but Beyonce is doing two concerts. The Korean paparazzi was all over them.


CreekHiker said...

Hopefully that means you actually get in to see the dr. in a timely manner there. I can't tell you how many times I've been really ill... 103 fever, nausea, bronchitis... you name it... and the dang nurse would say, "Can you come in in two weeks."

I'm prone to answer, "No, I'll be dead by then!"

Helena said...

A couple of times that we were sick we just went to a pharmacy. They ask you your symptoms and then give you some pills (or my husband was given this stuff that looked kind of like grainy dirt), and then give you this sheet that has a whole bunch of foods and things listed on it, and they mark the ones you should have and the ones you should avoid. "Okay, no bananas and no pig's feet for a week."

Did this article suggest any reasons for the high number of colds and headaches?

Becky said...

Holly: I couldn't believe when I went to the hopital for my flu shot I was in and out in 15 minutes including paying. Awesome!

Helena: I've heard about the pharmacy and I do want to visit one when I get a cold (hopefully never). No reason for the reportedly high number but I do hear a lot of my Korean friends complaining about colds.

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