The number of South Korean doctors stands at the lowest level among OECD member countries.
Korea had 2.3 clinicians per 1,000 people as of 2016 and came in last among 26 OECD member countries, according to data submitted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare to Rep. Nam In-soon, a lawmaker of the Democratic Party on the Health and Welfare Committee of the National Assembly.
The average number of doctors per 1,000 people of OECD member countries was 3.3. Austria has the largest number of 5.1, followed by Norway with 4.5, Switzerland with 4.3, Germany with 4.2, and Italy with 4.0. These data are taken from the 'OECD Health Statistics 2017. The number of clinical doctors in Korea included that of oriental medicine doctors in Korea.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare commissioned a research service in 2016 to estimate the shortage of doctors for places in need of medical services and public medical facilities. The research report said that the shortage ran between 1,103 and 2,206. To deal with this issue, Korea needs to produce 120 to 150 doctors annually, the report says.