The Hankook Ilbo : The balance of seeing the world

Jang Yoon-yeong (pseudonym), who raises an 11-year-old child with severe developmental disabilities accompanied by brain lesions and intellectual disabilities, goes to and from the hospital every day pushing her son’s wheelchair. When her son is a year younger, he feels a growing sense of urgency to make sure she gets a lot of treatment when he earns a penny more. He cannot ignore the burden of medical expenses, but there are other more pressing issues. The point is that in just four years, Mr. Jang’s son will have to leave the well-known pediatric treatment room and move to an adult treatment room. What is the reason for going to an adult treatment room when you are only in your mid-teens? The following is a Q&A with Jang. – How often do you go to the hospital? “My child goes every day. He goes to two general hospitals and two private treatment centers. Originally, he went to the university hospital twice a week or more for an hour, but at some point, an upper limit was placed on the number of visits per patient. I couldn’t even do it.” A Hankook Ilbo reporter made inquiries to famous autism professors in mid-September, and found that Cheon Geun-ah, a professor of pediatric psychiatry at Severance Hospital, said that by 2027, Kim Boong-nyun, a professor of pediatric psychiatry at Seoul National University Hospital, by 2025, and Yoo Hee-jeong, a professor of psychiatry at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital. was already fully booked until 2024, and I heard a reply saying that there is no schedule after that. As a result of a survey conducted by the Hankook Ilbo, 27.9% of respondents in Jeju, 19.7% in Gyeonggi, and 18.4% in Seoul, responded that they waited more than a year after applying to a tertiary medical institution (superior general hospital) such as a university hospital. (Related article ▶ “Professor specializing in autism, appointments for treatment until 2027 have been completed”: If you cannot click, search at this address: www.hankookilbo.com/News/Read/A2022100310430004161) Are you god? “It can’t be. When you turn 15, you have to move to an adult treatment room. Both university hospitals and general hospitals are getting rid of pediatric treatment rooms due to problems with COVID-19 and the number of treatments.” According to the Korean Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, there are less than 400 child psychiatrists. Even they are concentrated in the metropolitan area. There are a total of 266 hospitals with pediatric psychiatrists across the country, but they are concentrated in Seoul (111), Gyeonggi (58) and Incheon (12). There are only three places in Jeonnam and two each in Gyeongbuk and Sejong. -What problems arise when a child uses an adult treatment room? “There are almost elderly people in the adult treatment room, so the system runs around them. Active behavioral treatment is no longer done, and the emphasis is on nursing care and care. “Behavioral therapy in the treatment room can’t help but feel like scratching the surface. Imagine that you’re only in the 3rd year of middle school and don’t get proper treatment. Mothers are increasingly greedy to ensure that their children receive as much treatment as possible while they are at least a year old.” -Mothers probably don’t like sending their children to the adult treatment room. “No. There are many mothers who think it’s a relief to send them to an adult treatment room. It’s true that treatment isn’t possible (at an adult treatment room), but private treatment centers are very expensive. There are many families with poor economic conditions.” -Your mother can’t ignore the burden of medical expenses either. “That’s right. I have a great desire to provide maximum treatment, but I can’t really do much. My child was diagnosed with a disability right after birth, so it’s like spending a lifetime on treatment, but it costs more than tens of millions of won. Since I don’t belong to low-income families or single-parent families, I can’t benefit from treatment expenses. I can’t even fully receive it. The income standard for supporting the voucher amount is also based on a pre-tax basis, so it feels more restrictive.” – What level of support are you currently receiving? “It’s about the call taxi support for the disabled and the activity support service that I started receiving after the age of 7. The voucher was not received until the child was 2 years old, but I started receiving it around the age of 3 or 4, and the self-pay is 80,000 won per month. We pay 180,000 won per month. If we save up our own expenses, it will be about 400,000 to 500,000 won per month.” (Related article ▶ 150,000 won for 1-hour therapy class? Parents driven into the private education market: If you can’t click, search at this address: www.hankookilbo.com/News/Read/A2022100509190004669) -What do you think is the most urgent solution? ? “Anyway, I hope pediatric treatment will be more active. If we can’t build more pediatric treatment rooms, I would like to extend the age of using existing pediatric treatment rooms so that children can continue the existing pediatric treatment system for several more years. If you do, your body will harden or degenerate right away. ▶Interactive Shortcut: Click to view the entire survey results of 1,071 people. If you cannot click, please copy the address (interactive.hankookilbo.com/v/disability/) and enter it in the search box.

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