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Eunkyoung Kim 1 Article
Has Income-related Inequity in Health Care Utilization and Expenditures Been Improved? Evidence From the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2005 and 2010
Eunkyoung Kim, Soonman Kwon, Ke Xu
J Prev Med Public Health. 2013;46(5):237-248.   Published online September 30, 2013
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AbstractAbstract PDF

The purpose of this study is to examine and explain the extent of income-related inequity in health care utilization and expenditures to compare the extent in 2005 and 2010 in Korea.


We employed the concentration indices and the horizontal inequity index proposed by Wagstaff and van Doorslaer based on one- and two-part models. This study was conducted using data from the 2005 and 2010 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We examined health care utilization and expenditures for different types of health care providers, including health centers, physician clinics, hospitals, general hospitals, dental care, and licensed traditional medical practitioners.


The results show the equitable distribution of overall health care utilization with pro-poor tendencies and modest pro-rich inequity in the amount of medical expenditures in 2010. For the decomposition analysis, non-need variables such as income, education, private insurance, and occupational status have contributed considerably to pro-rich inequality in health care over the period between 2005 and 2010.


We found that health care utilization in Korea in 2010 was fairly equitable, but the poor still have some barriers to accessing primary care and continuing to receive medical care.



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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health