According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Health Survey (2002–2004), the average prevalence of disability for adults aged 18 and over in 59 countries was estimated at 15.6% (about 650 million) in 2004. This is about a 5% increase from the WHO’s estimate of the world’s disabled population in 1970 (1). In addition, population ageing is a global trend (2), and the older group has a higher incidence of disability (3). Because of that, the disabled population is expected to increase year by year. In Korea, the number of disabled people has gradually increased to 1.1 million in 1995 (2.4%), 2.1 million in 2005 (4.6%) and 2.7 million in 2017 (5.4%) (4).
The term unmet health care needs (UHCN) is defined as the difference between the need for health care services to deal with a particular health problem and the actual receiving of services and represents a measure of access to health care (5). Disabled people suffer more often and more severely from health problems than non-disabled people. Additionally, they do not have adequate access to health care when they need it. According to a 2002–2004 WHO survey, respondents from 59 countries, regardless of gender and age, did not receive the care they needed. According to a national survey in Korea, the UHCN of disabled people in 2017 was 17.0% (4), while, for the general population, it was 8.8%.