A comparison of disease burden and the government budget for mental health in Korea

Dun Sol Go, Young Eun Kim, Jong Woo Paik, Sungwon Roh, Seok Jun Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in South Korea was 25.4% in 2016. The Act on Mental Health enabled the expansion of psychiatric facilities; however, resources were allocated without considering the population structure or the characteristics of mental health problems. Aims: This paper investigates the status and trends of disease burden and the government budget for Korean mental health. Methods: The burden of mental and behavioral disorders (MBDs) was measured using the incidence-based disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and the mental health budget data was from the Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea. Results: We estimated that the disease burden of MBDs accounted for 6.4% of the total disease burden, ranking as the seventh leading cause of Korean DALYs. The mental health budget in South Korea was USD 253.4 million in 2019 (USD 90.3 million from the general account, USD 65.8 million from the National Health Promotion Fund, and USD 97.3 million from the special account for the national mental hospitals). Conclusions: Challenges are created by the MBD burden on the Korean healthcare system, and the budget is insufficient to address this disease burden, suggesting that resource allocation systems should be improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Mental health
  • burden of disease
  • disability-adjusted life years
  • government budget
  • mental and behavioral disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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