New York, NY Cloudy
< >

Amnesty International: North Korean Health Care Dire

2010-07-15 10:01 AM EST Last Updated: 2010-07-15 12:01 PM EST


Incorrect diagnoses, limited access to medication, amputations routinely conducted without anesthesia - these are some of the symptoms of what Amnesty International describes as North Korea's crumbling health care system.

[Norma Kang Muico, Amnesty Report Author]:

"North Korea professes to have a free health care system, but in reality struggles to provide even the most basic service to the population. Health facilities are run down and operate with frequent power cuts and no heat in the winters."

Amnesty said witnesses described paying doctors for services, often in the form of cigarettes or alcohol.

[Norma Kang Muico, Amnesty Report Author]:

"As doctors have begun charging for their services, which is illegal under North Korea's universal health care system, the poor cannot access full medical care, especially medicine and surgery."

Amnesty said its research also showed the government had failed to provide adequate public health information, describing how some North Koreans take medicine containing methamphetamines for headaches, while others reported taking opium to treat a common cold.

According to the report, many of the country's severe health problems are associated with widespread and chronic malnutrition, caused by the North Korean government's failure to address the country's ongoing food shortages.

Many North Koreans interviewed by Amnesty spoke of relatives who had starved to death.

Amnesty is calling on the North Korean government to take steps to address the food shortages, while urging the international community to resume providing humanitarian aid.


Related Article

Sponsored Links

comments powered by Disqus

TV & Video

Copyright © 2002-2014 NTDTV. All Rights Reserved