Extra! Korea

July 15, 2010

(Updated) Surgery being performed in North Korea without anesthesia because of shortage

Filed under: North Korea — extrakorea @ 1:42 pm


The BBC has an article with more information.

One 20-year-old woman from North Hamgyeong province said: “People don’t bother going to the hospital if they don’t have money because everyone knows that you have to pay.

“If you don’t have money you die,” said the woman, who left North Korea in 2008.

[ snip ]

A 56-year-old woman told Amnesty that her appendix was removed without anaesthetic.

“The operation took about an hour and 10 minutes. I was screaming so much from the pain – I thought I was going to die.

“They had tied my hands and legs to prevent me from moving.”

Also, go to this BBC page to see a video.


Original Post:

Amnesty International has released a report on the dire situation of the North Korean health care system. The following stood out:

“And there’s such a shortage of medicines that surgeries are often performed without the aid of anesthesia or not enough anesthesia to control the pain.”

This was also noteworthy:

The World Health Organization says North Korea spends the least on health care compared with any other country – less than one dollar per person annually.

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