As the population ages, the number of South Koreans with dementia has soared in recent years and so have associated costs, data showed. In 2018, dementia-related medical spending exceeded the 2 trillion won ($1.67 billion) threshold for the first time.
According to the data provided by the Ministry of Health and Welfare to Rep. Kim Kwang-soo, the number of people diagnosed with various forms of neurodegenerative disease rose from 416,309 in 2014 to 547,700 in 2016 and hit 712,386 last year.
During the cited period, outlays on treatment shot up from a little over 1.3 trillion won in 2014 to 1.7 trillion won in 2016 and more than 2.2 trillion won in 2018. (Yonhap)