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S. Korea has fewest doctors among OECD member states: data

2017/09/23 06:00

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SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) -- South Korea had 2.2 doctors per every 1,000 people in 2015, the lowest number among member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), data showed Saturday.

According to the OECD data released by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, South Korea scored the lowest in physician density, far below the average of 3.3. The data included licensed physicians practicing oriental medicine.

Austria ranked top with 5.1 doctors per 1,000 people, followed by Norway with 4.4, Sweden and Switzerland with 4.2, and Germany with 4.1, the latest findings showed.

South Korea has experienced a substantial expansion in its medical workforce recently, driven mainly by the rise in the number of medical graduates.

However, the country still lacks sufficient medical personnel, and there is an imbalance of doctors depending on the region.

The ministry forecasts South Korea will be short 1,800 doctors in 2020 and 7,600 in 2030.

The capital city of Seoul had the most doctors with 267 per 100,000 people in 2015, compared with North Gyeongsang Province with 116 per 100,000 and the southern city of Ulsan with 123 per 100,000.

khj@yna.co.kr

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