Nursing Homes vs Nursing Hospital: which one to choose?

Dr Justin Hanse Lee, Managing Director, Y&S Korea, examines the differences between nursing homes and nursing hospitals for the elderly in the Korean Woman’s Economic Newspaper.

In yet another insightful column for the Woman’s Economic Newspaper of Korea, Dr. Justin Lee provides a detailed guide highlighting the differences between nursing homes and nursing hospitals in Korea. He emphasizes the importance of understanding these differences to help families make the best choices for the care of their elderly loved ones. 

Citing data from the 2017 Medical Policy Research publication, “Establishment of the Role of Nursing Homes and Nursing Hospitals”, Dr. Lee notes that around 30% of the elderly in nursing homes require continuous medical treatment, while about half the patients in nursing hospitals do not need the extensive facilities provided. This mismatch is often due to operators and counselors admitting unsuitable patients to avoid losing them, though this is not the case for all facilities. 

The key differences between these facilities are cost, care provider, quality of service, and the type of disease being treated. Nursing homes cost approximately US$580-US$726 per month, including free nursing care, whereas nursing hospitals charge about twice as much (US$1161-US$1452 per month) with additional costs for nursing care. Nursing home caregivers are well-qualified Korean nationals, while hospitals often employ caregivers from external agencies, potentially causing language barriers. Nursing homes typically offer a 6:1 care ratio, but those who can afford more personalized care (2:1 or 1:1) may prefer nursing hospitals. The most crucial factor in choosing between these facilities is the patient’s medical needs. If patients require comprehensive medical support, rehabilitation services, and daily physician treatments post-surgery, nursing hospitals offer the most appropriate environment. Conversely, elderly individuals suffering from general dementia or geriatric diseases who need daily life support and care services may find nursing homes more suitable. 

Additionally, elderly individuals with ample financial resources can opt for a private nursing home. Although not a legal term, a private nursing home operates outside the long-term insurance system, offering premium services and facilities for Korea’s wealthiest.

Find out more about these facilities in a detailed context here


For media enquiries, please contact:

Marie Teo
Manager, Group Marketing Communications
YAMADA Consulting & Spire
Phone: +65 6221 7727
E-mail: [email protected] 

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