Total spending in health care in South Korea is among the lowest in the world. The value is estimated to be 6.9% of GDP but it is expected to increase to by 2015. The country has a Universal Health care program financed by government subsidies, employee contributions and the employers. This health care program covers 96% of the population. The public spending on healthcare accounts for 59% of the total spending while the private expenditure accounts for 41% of the total expenditure. According to report published by World Bank, Private health care expenditure in South Korea as a percentage of GDP is 2.59%. These private health care expenditures include private insurance, out of pocket spending, private corporations’ payments, and charitable donations. Per capita total expenditure on healthcare at an average exchange rate is 1439 USD.
The adult HIV/Aids Prevalence rate among adults between 15 and 49 years and in South Korea is less than 0.1%. Statistics shows that about 9,500 people are living with HIV/AIDS out of a population of about 50 million people. Annual deaths resulting from HIV/Aids related sicknesses are less than 500 people. The information concerning the number of people infected is not very much reliable because the World Health Organization and the Korean government base the data on estimations and projections.
The South Korean Government is a lot in responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Through the health ministry, the government covers nearly all treatment costs for its citizens suffering from HIV/AIDS. However, the efforts by the government receive hindrance from the culture constraints. The cultural challenges faced in South Korea include prevalent misconceptions, discrimination and stigma, and discrimination surrounding the HIV/AIDS patients. Most patients are afraid of revealing their status thus hindering the efforts by government in the provision of medication. In addition, discussion about the disease among the citizens is uncommon and attempts to identify people living with the virus gives an illustration of how the HIV/AIDS victims are isolated.
South Korea currently is having the capacity to produce its own HIV/AIDS drugs. One of the leading players in the Korean pharmaceutical market is the Daewoong Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, which command about 6% of the total market value. In 2010, the country’s pharmaceuticals market had 12.6 billion USD as the total revenue and this represents a 6% compound annual growth rate for the period 2006 to 2010. The pharmaceutical personnel in the country according to the World Health Organizations are 12 personnel per a population of 10,000 people.
South Korea abides by the international Patent rules because it is a member of World International Property Rights organizations (WIPO). Republic of Korea has a Directorate General of Copyright Policy, which is under the ministry of culture, sports, and Tourism. In addition, it hosts an Intellectual Property Office located in Daejeon Metropolitan City. Republic of Korea has signed number of treaties concerning the intellectual property rights including the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty signed in March 2009.
According to The Federation of International Trade Associations, South Korea made total goods importation worth 524,413 million USD services worth 98,210 million USD making 622,623 million USD. Whereas the total exports the same year were 554,214 USD in goods and 93,573 million USD in services adding to 647,787 USD. United States is a key Korea’s trading partner and its imports account for 10% of the total goods and services exported by South Korea. South Korea and the United States of America signed a free trade agreement in June 2007. If trade with the US is cut-off, the Republic of Korea will be negatively affected because it will lose its key trading partner. The Republic of Korea became a member of the World Trade Organization on January 1st 1995 and currently it is an ascended member of the Organization and thus has independence to conduct its trade policies.