South Korean public healthcare institutions face a shortage of 2,427 doctors, an analysis showed Thursday.
According to Representative Jung Choun-sook of the Democratic Party, who is a member of the National Assembly’s Health and Welfare Committee, there are 14,341 seats available for doctors at 223 public medical institutions in Korea. However, only 11,914 doctors are working in public healthcare.
Twelve public medical institutions under the Ministry of Health and Welfare had only 823 doctor seats filled out of 894, showing a shortage of 71 doctors. Eight hospitals under the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, which treats national veterans, also faced a shortage of 76 doctors and 14 industrial accident hospitals under the Ministry of Employment and Labor 25 doctors.
Local public hospitals and national university hospitals also experience a short supply of doctors. There are 87 and 1,940 vacant seats for doctors at 35 local public hospitals and 17 national university hospitals, respectively. This means that local public hospitals need 2.5 more doctors and national university hospitals 114 more per institution.
“We need to enhance the capacity of public medical institutions by expanding the number of seats at medical schools and introducing community doctors,” Jung said.
By Shim Hee-jin and Choi Jieun
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