A video that uses comedy to comment on the expensive nature of healthcare in the U.S. versus in South Korea, where healthcare is much more affordable, has gone viral.
The video was uploaded to TikTok on March 3 by user @mykoreandic and has been viewed over 3.6 million times, as of this writing.
The TikToker takes on two roles in his skit video — an American patient and a South Korean doctor. The American character visits a South Korean hospital to treat a “broken arm,” while the “doctor” begins to read out the cost of each treatment.
For the first “treatment,” the “doctor” reads out the cost for the patient’s X-ray. He starts off by saying, “seven,” but is cut off by the patient who finishes the sentences with “…hundred?!” The doctor then responds “…dollars.” He later reads out the price for an arm cast, saying, “This one is expensive. It costs 30,” to which the horrified patient responds, “…million?!” In response, the doctor again replies, “…dollars”.
The skit illustrates the reality of healthcare affordability in the U.S. versus in South Korea where medical treatments are much more affordable. South Koreans spend an average of around $3,500 USD on health per capita while Americans spend an average of $12,500 USD on health per capita each year.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare in South Korea runs the county’s healthcare system and provides its citizens with mandatory national health insurance that covers approximately 97% of the South Korean population. As a result, medical treatment is much more affordable when compared to the United States.
The United States currently has one of the highest healthcare costs in the world. In comparison, the average cost of healthcare per person in countries included in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is approximately one-third of the amount spent per person in the U.S.