The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced on July 21 that South Koreans’ life expectancy as of 2017 rose 3.5 years in 10 years to 82.7, the fifth-highest in the OECD. Those of Japan, Switzerland, Spain and Italy are 84.2, 83.6, 83.4, and 83, respectively. South Korean females’ life expectancy is 85.7, six years longer than that of South Korean males.
When it comes to subjective health recognition, South Korea posted 29.5 percent, the lowest in the OECD. The ratio is as high as 87.9 percent and 88.5 percent in the United States and Canada, respectively. In other words, the ratio of those who think they are healthy is much lower in South Korea than in the North American countries.
In 2016, 24.6 out of 100,000 population committed suicide in South Korea and the country was second only to Lithuania (26.7) in the OECD in terms of suicide rate. That year, 165.2 out of 100,000 population, lower than the OECD average, died of cancer in South Korea.
In 2017, those aged at least 15 and smoking every day accounted for 17.5 percent of the entire population in South Korea whereas the OECD average was 16.3 percent. In that age group, South Koreans’ liquor consumption per capita was 8.7 liters a year, 0.2 less than the OECD average, and 33.7 percent of South Koreans were overweight or obese while the OECD average was 59.3 percent. Those overweight or obese accounted for 22.5 percent of the population in Japan, 74.2 percent in Chile, and 72.5 percent in Mexico.
As for the number of clinicians including oriental medical doctors, South Korea recorded 2.3 per 1,000 population, the lowest in the OECD. The OECD average is 3.4, the number is as high as 5.2 in Austria, and those of Japan and the United States are 2.4 and 2.6, respectively. When it comes to the number of nurses per 1,000 population, South Korea, the OECD, and Japan recorded 6.9, 9, and 11.3, respectively.
Every 1,000 population shared 12.3 sickbeds in South Korea, second only to Japan’s 13.1 and almost three times the OECD average. Likewise, every one million population in South Korea shared 29.1 and 38.2 MRI machines and CT scanners whereas the OECD averages are 17.4 and 27.8. South Korea’s number of doctor consultations per person was 16.6, the highest in the OECD, with its average at 7.1.