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Cost of treating critical coronavirus case reaches 70 mln won: study

All News 10:41 May 07, 2020

SEOUL, May 7 (Yonhap) -- The maximum cost of treating a critically ill patient with the new coronavirus in South Korea is estimated at 70 million won (US$57,000), a study showed Thursday.

The study, conducted by the state-run National Health Insurance Service (NHIS), said it takes at least 55 million won to treat critical coronavirus patients on ventilators or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machines.

Comparable costs are approximately 12 million won for patients in serious conditions and 3.31 million won to 4.78 million won for mild patients.

Serious patients refer to cases who can breathe on their own but receive supplemental oxygen therapy.

Cost of treating critical coronavirus case reaches 70 mln won: study - 1

The study is based on an analysis of treatment costs for patients admitted to Seoul National University Hospital, the National Medical Center and other major general hospitals nationwide.

In South Korea, coronavirus patients do not pick up the tab. The state health insurance operator covers 80 percent of the treatment cost, with the remainder shared by the central and local governments.

The NHIS estimated South Korea's total costs for coronavirus patients would reach up to 98.5 billion won if the country's caseload totaled 11,000.

South Korea reported four more coronavirus cases Thursday, raising the nation's total infections to 10,810. The death toll rose by one to 256, and 9,419 people have recovered from the virus, up 86 from a day earlier, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
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