SOUTH KOREA - Government Cares for Elderly

K. Farmer

Care giving for seniors has traditionally been perceived as a duty of their family members. Sons and daughters were responsible for the care―both physically and economically―of their elderly parents.

But this outdated system has faced challenges in modern society. Unlike the past when extended families lived under one roof, family ties are loosening, with more and more elderly people living alone.

As a result, the enhancement of public care services for the elderly population has become a priority for Korea, a country which is predicted to become a “super-aged society” by 2026, where one-fifth of the total population is aged 65 and older.

Against this backdrop, the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) launched what is called the Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance scheme in 2008 aiming to shift elderly care away from the family-dominated system to an insurance-based one.

All Korean nationals are eligible for LTC insurance, which offers a comprehensive caregiving system to elderly people who are unable to perform daily activities on their own.

Under the insurance scheme, the NHIS pays for 85 percent of home-living benefit expenses, and 80 percent of facility care benefit expenses, within the monthly limit which may differ depending on the level of care.

According to a survey conducted last October among 2,500 beneficiaries, 91 percent said they were satisfied with the services which include short-term accommodation at facilities, bathing services and community residence for the elderly.

-www.koreatimes.co.kr, 17 February 2022

Commentary

The Korea government is implementing a much-needed service, as the population among advanced societies worldwide is rapidly aging, while at the same time, fewer children are being born to pick up the slack. 

The article states that 91 percent were satisfied with the program, which is incredible considering how in the US, complaints about the healthcare system abound, and for good reason. The astronomical costs, combined with much inefficiency, have led to poorer care than most modern economies.

Asian cultures have traditionally placed great value in honoring one’s parents, although the Western mindset of independence is gradually taking hold, which is unfortunate. Scripture states: “…children or grandchildren…should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God” (1 Timothy 5:4, NIV). (By K. Farmer)

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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