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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 22(6); 2011 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2011;22(6): 735-742.
Evaluation of Emergency Care for Foreign Patients in Korea
Hoo Jeon, Gu Hyun Kang, Yong Soo Jang, Jung Tae Choi, Jin Ho Kim, Bok Ja Lee, Sung Gon Lee, Hee Chol Ahn, Gyu Chong Cho
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University, Seoul, Korea. drkang9@hanmail.net
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University, Anyang, Korea.
3Department of Emergency Medicine, Kangdong Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University, Seoul, Korea.
ABSTRACT
PURPOSE:
The purpose of this study was to investigate current statistics relating to foreigners who visit a Korean emergency department (ED).
METHODS:
Subjects included in this study were 125,263 patients who visited one Korean ED from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2010. We divided subjects into two groups, natives (Koreans) and foreigners (non-Koreans). We compared the two groups according to their age, sex, chief medical complaints, department to which they were referred, their final diagnosis, results of treatment applied, ED residence time, mortality rate, total billed cost of treatment, balance of any unpaid bills and method of visiting the ED.
RESULTS:
Of the total patients included in the study, 119,864 (95.7%) were natives and 5,399 (4.3%) were foreigners. In natives, the majority were 0 to 10 years old (35.1%), while foreigners were mostly 41 to 50 (22.8%) years old. The most common symptom in both natives and foreigners was fever. The most common diagnosis for foreigners was head, face, and neck injury (13.8%). The main referred departments for foreigners were internal medicine (20.1%), pediatric medicine (16.9%), and orthopedics (14.3%). The admission rate for foreigners (13.0%), was lower than that of natives (17.3%). The mortality rate for foreigners (0.5%) was higher than that of natives (0.3%). The ED residence time for foreigners was higher than that of natives. The total billed cost of treatment and balance of unpaid money by foreigners was higher than that of natives. For foreigners, the proportion of medical fees paid from personal accounts and industrial medical insurance were higher than those of natives.
CONCLUSION:
Medical insurance and policy for the management of foreigners who visit the ED must be improved.
Key words: Foreigner, Emergency room, Fees
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