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Dementia Support System in Place to Reduce Burden of Medical Expenses

  • Date : 2019-09-20
  • Hit : 465

Dementia Support System in Place to Reduce Burden of Medical Expenses

  • The Ministry of Health and Welfare Announces Progress Made in 2 Years after the “National Responsibility for Dementia System” Entered into Force –

In celebration of the 12th Dementia Day, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW, Minister Neunghoo Park) announced progress of the National Responsibility for Dementia System which had been implemented as a core national agenda under President Moon Jae-in administration since September 2017.

Over the last two years, a lot of achievements have been made under the National Responsibility for Dementia System.

First and foremost, Dementia care centers were established at 256 public health centers across the nation to provide services including counseling, medical checkups, dementia prevention and therapeutic programs and case management for 2.62 million residents, dementia patients and their family members.

Secondly, the central and local governments are installing dedicated wards for dementia at 55 public long-term care hospitals to provide intensive care for dementia patients having symptoms of severe hallucination and violence. Among the hospitals, three were designated as dementia care hospitals, and the number will increase. To be specific, construction is underway of 39 public long-term care hospitals dedicated to dementia care, and a total of 130 hospitals will be newly established by 2022.

As the National Health Insurance now covers dementia examination, the cost for the examination has been reduced in half. With the contribution of patients with severe dementia dropping from 60% to 10%, around 40,000 patients received support on medical expenses.

Furthermore, the government provided a total of KRW 30 billion (up to KRW 30,000 per month) to around 150,000 low-income patients with dementia to support the expense of dementia medicines.

Also, the eligibility and scope of a reduced long-term care expense were expanded, benefiting 250,000 patients with dementia. With a reform in the grade system of long-term care insurance, patients with mild dementia are now eligible for long-term care services.

In addition, under the National Responsibility for Dementia System, all citizens aged 66 or older are now able to receive a cognitive impairment test every 2 years, and a public guardian is provided to protect the right to make a decision of the elderly with dementia who are not able to receive help from their family members.

The government developed a Plan on National Dementia Research and Development in 2018, and plans to invest KRW 200 billion for 9 years starting from 2020 to support mid-to-long term research on dementia.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said that it will fulfill remaining tasks under the National Responsibility for Dementia System to the fullest.

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