Home
Korean Sitemap
 


No.531 2007.11.29 Korean Federation of Housewives Club
< Consumer education conducted for High School 3rd graders after the 2007 Scholastic Ability Test> /

Press Release No. 531, Issued on 29 Nov. 2007

Korean Federation of Housewives Club

< Consumer education conducted for High School 3rd graders after the 2007 Scholastic Ability Test>

The 2007 Scholastic Ability Test for entrance into universities was taken on last Nov. 15th, and the 3rd graders at high school are now preparing to begin their social activities. In this regard, our club provided a consumer education session for the adults-to-be. At the beginning of every year, there are manswindling y sales or illegal dealings for university freshmen or those who enter the society for the first time. So the consumer education for high school 3rd graders was planned to minimize such damage. More than 4,000 students from 12 schools in Seoul will participate in the education this time and the contents of the education are the matters closely related to our real life such as the prevention of the damage to adolescent consumers, the prevention of damage and solutions of each case that often occurs to consumers. The relevant education has been done every year since 2005 and it is scheduled to be expanded to all the graders of high school. The following are the education schedule and the names of the high schools that are participating in the education program.

No.

Name of High School

Schedule

1

Hongik Girls' Design Culture High School

Nov. 21, 2007 (Wed.) 9~10 a.m.

2

Seong-Am Girls' Information High School

Nov. 26, 2007 (Mon.) 9:50~10:40 a.m.

3

Sudo Girls' High School

Nov. 28, 2007 (Wed.) 10~11 a.m.

4

Hongik Girls' High School

Nov. 29, 2007 (Thu.) 10~11 a.m.

5

Soongeui Girls' High School

Nov. 29, 2007 (Thu.) 10~11 a.m.

6

Hanyang High School Attached to the College of Education, Hanyang University

Nov. 30, 2007 (Fri.) 9~10 a.m.

7

High School Attached to the College of Education, Dongguk University

Nov. 30, 2007 (Fri.) 9:30~10:30 a.m.

8

Cheongwon Girls' High School

Dec. 3, 2007 (Mon.) 10~11 a.m.

9

Hyesung Girls' High School

Dec. 5, 2007 (Wed.) 9~10 a.m.

10

Hyehwa Girls' High School

Dec. 7, 2007 (Fri.) 10~11 a.m.

11

Choongahm High School

Dec. 10, 2007 (Mon.) 10:30~11:30 a.m.

12

Hangang Electronics Polytechnic High School

Dec. 14, 2007 (Fri.) 9~10 a.m.

▶ Contact for inquiry (person in charge):  Consumer Protection Dept. at Korean Federation of Housewives Club (02-752-4227)


Korean Federation of Housewives Club

<Inspection of the price and services of postpartum card center>

-The average price of postpartum care center in Seoul is 1,880,875 won, a 38.3% increase from 2005: the highest is 3,010,000 won in Jung-gu District, and the lowest is 1,100,000 won in Dobong-gu District -

With the rapid change of the customs related to the pregnancy and childbirth of women, postpartum care centers appeared as a new business item in 1998 and they occupy a great portion of the new culture of postpartum care. To cope with such substantial growth, the Mother & Baby Health Law has been implemented from June 8th, 2006 to stipulate the standard of the basic facilities and manpower of postpartum care centers. However, there remain various problems related to the postpartum care centers. In 2006 only, there were 457 cases of complaints related to postpartum care centers that were received at Korea National Council of Consumer Organizations. To solve the problem, the Korean Federation of Housewives Club (President: Kim Cheon-ju ) has made an inspection of the price and services of 80 postpartum care centers located in Seoul to provide potential customers with useful information and also conducted a satisfaction survey with 500 persons who have used the centers to convey consumers’ demand to the industry.

1. Summary of Inspection

1) Period: Oct. 10, 2007 ~ Nov. 12, 2007

2) Objects 1: 23 postpartum care centers located in Seoul. (There are no registered postpartum care centers in the 2 districts of Seongdong-gu and Yongsan-gu.) Inspection was made on the price per each type of the childbed (normal / special) and period (2 weeks ~ 4 weeks), discounts, regulations for the compensation for damages of consumers, capacity, facility & environment, realities of the area of professional management, status of facilities and added services (80 centers were inspected in total.)

3) Objects 2: The satisfaction level of the 500 women who have used postpartum care centers in Seoul for childbirth during the past 1~2 years was inspected.

2. Inspection Results

2-1. Inspection of the price and services of postpartum care center

2-1-1) The average basic price of postpartum care centers and distribution graphIn a survey of the 80 postpartum care centers for the basic price (2 weeks, 1 person ordinary room), 50% of them belonged to the range from 1,500,000 won to 2,000,000 won. So it can be presumed that the prices have been made similar in some degree. However, considering that the average price in 2005 was 1,360,000 won according to the data for postpartum care centers, the 2007 average price of 1,880,875 won after 2 years is an increase of about 38.3%.

2-1-2) Prices of special rooms at postpartum care centers and different featuresOut of the 80 postpartum care centers, 38 places had special rooms. Among them, 28.8% had less than 20% of price difference compared to the price of the basic rooms while 1.3% had more than 50% of price difference. But there were no significant differences worth the price gap compared to the basic rooms, and the differences were not in special services but mostly in the location, facilities and size of the room.

2-1-3) Discount at the postpartum care centers It was surveyed that there was a price discount system at 54 postpartum care centers. In a questionnaire, which allowed multiple answers, the most answers were made at 50 places that they ‘give discount if the payment is made in cash’.

2-1-4) Survey of the realities of facilities and professional service In a survey of the facilities and special services besides price, it appeared that most postpartum care centers were observing the regulations for facilities. From this, it can be assumed that the report system is somewhat effective.

However, regarding the location of the rooms in the buildings; only 36.3% were located on the 3rd floor or lower, and most rooms were located on 4~6 floors (48.6%) while 3.8% were located on 10~12 floors. According to the current regulations, the rooms for the women in childbed may be installed on the 3rd floor and above if the buildings are equipped with fireproof structure.
In the area of professional services, it was shown that there was insufficiency in the number of the doctors’ round of visits, the number of nurses compared to the capacity of the women in childbed, and the existence of dietitians. There was no doctor’s round of visits in 14% of the places that are distributed evenly regardless of the price range. Thus it was thought necessary to choose a postpartum care center after carefully checking not only the external appearance but also the actual services being provided.

2-2. Survey of users’ satisfaction

: According to a survey of the satisfaction of 500 customers who have used the postpartum care centers located in Seoul for the past 1~2 years, they were generally satisfied with the price, facilities, services, etc.  

2-2-1) Satisfaction with price Before they had used the centers, 39.6% of the respondents answered that it was ‘expensive’ and 28.7% said it was ‘average’ and after they used the centers, 67.5% of them said they were satisfied. However, 53.7% selected ‘less than 1,500,000 won’ for the appropriate price of postpartum care centers suggesting that the current price range of postpartum care centers is burdensome for ordinary households.

2-2-2) Satisfaction with facilities 46.5% of the respondents said that they were generally satisfied with the facilities, and their satisfaction with the rooms for the women in childbed, newborn babies’ room and other rest areas were also high.

2-2-3) Satisfaction with professional service 45.7% said that they were satisfied with the professional services provided. 47.2% replied that the service (or program) that they were especially satisfied with was the culture program and 56% said that they were especially dissatisfied with the doctors’ round of visits. For the reasons of their dissatisfaction, 56% selected the answer that ‘the services were provided differently from what was suggested by the center’ which appeared similar to the lack of the doctors’ round of visits which appeared in the ‘survey of the price and service of postpartum care center’.  
In a questionnaire on the satisfaction with the measures taken when problems occurred, the ratio of the answer of ‘average’ took the most portions, followed by that of the answer of ‘satisfied’. So it can be judged that the problems are being solved rather smoothly as a result of the revision of the concerned laws, the self-efforts of the centers and the active assertion of consumers. Nevertheless, as it is a place where the most vulnerable being of infants are staying, even the least dissatisfaction should not be failed to be noticed and the best efforts will have to be made to prevent emergencies from occurring.

3. Conclusions and suggestions

3-1. How to select a postpartum care center

The 10 items mentioned earlier were surveyed to have an inspection on the price of postpartum care centers and if they provide services reasonable for the price. The most sensitive women after childbirth and the newborn babies will stay there from 2 weeks to 4 weeks at the longest, and the burden to the economy of the household will not be ignorable. So consumers need to choose the center very carefully. There was no significant correlationship between the price and the services provided. It seems desirable that consumers find the centers that offer the services that are thought the most important services for them and make a final decision after comparing their prices. On the other hand, the centers will have to make efforts to provide consumers with accurate information, improve the quality of service and offer reasonable prices rather than to make colorful external appearance and increase prices in competition.

3-2. While the general satisfaction with postpartum care centers is high, several problems still remain.

Firstly, while the portion of the answers that the respondents were satisfied with the facilities and services compared to the price was high, the prices are burdensome for the consumers. The relevant government agency should not regard this matter as the expenditure of individual households, but will have to pay attention to the matter of the postpartum care center and prepare active management measures so as to reduce the burden of households as a part of the incentive to encourage childbirth.

Secondly, what was notable among the answers to the question items which asked the programs (services) that are hoped to be improved or supplemented was the culture program mainly for sale. Though a postpartum care center is also a profit pursuing organization, the sale of something inside the postpartum care center will have to be banned in consideration of the special situation of the women in childbed. In the case of a woman who has given to her first child, she will probably buy anything that is said to be necessary for her child. Even if she does not buy it, it will not help her at all if she has to participate in a culture program for the sale of something in a place that must be maintained comfortable.

Thirdly, the difference in price between when it is paid by cash and by credit card (or when cash receipt is issued) is a problem not only for consumers but for the whole society and thus the practice must be changed. There is a concern that those who pay with a credit card may be discriminated to take more burden to compensate for the amount discounted for those who pay in cash. In addition, there were the discounts for hospitals and for prior reservation and in some postpartum care centers discount was also possible through the consultation with the owner of the center. Thus it seems necessary to set the price with consistency, objectivity and reliability.

Fourthly, in the areas of professional service, the centers are required to pay more attention to and improve doctor’s round of visits and the arrangement of dietitians.

3-3. Recommendation to related government authorities

Though postpartum care centers are said to be registered and supervised by the relevant city, gun (county) or gu (district) offices, no agency is controlling or supervising the phenomenon of the price increase by 38.3% in 2 years. In addition, there are no regular inspections of the facilities and thus it is even thought that postpartum care centers are put in a dead angle for management. Considering that postpartum care centers are more like an essential place as a welfare agency than ordinary private service organization, they need to be actively supervised for hygiene, fire-fighting facilities and prices. It is thought necessary that the Department of Health & Welfare and he relevant city, gun (county) or gu (district) offices will have to continue supervising postpartum care centers even after they complete the report the commencement of their business so that the centers could voluntarily observe the minimum level of the regulations for both the women in childbed and the new-born babies and regulate or subsidize the excessive costs that give burden to household economy as a part of the policy to encourage to have more childbirth.

For detailed test results and reference materials, see attached file.

▶ Inquiry (person in charge): Lee Hye-min, Secretary, Consumer Protection Team, Korea Federation of Housewives' Clubs,  at 02-752-4227



#701, Seoul YWCA, 1-1, Myeongdong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, (Postal code: 100-021)
  TEL 82-2-774-4050   FAX 82-2-774-4090   E-mail: sohyub@consumer.or.kr