Korea has most hospital equipment but lacks doctors

By Yonhap
  • Published : Oct 15, 2018 - 14:44
  • Updated : Oct 15, 2018 - 14:44

The overall number of hospital beds and medical equipment in South Korea exceeded other major economies, while the number of doctors was among the lowest, data showed Monday.

South Korea had an average of 12 beds per every 1,000 people in 2016, compared with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average of 4.7, the data showed. The data was provided by the Ministry of Health and Welfare along with the National Health Insurance Service.

The country‘s medical institutions owned more instruments, such as computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scanners, than other OECD members, according to the data.


The data showed that the number of MRI and CT scanners per 1 million population came to 27.8 and 37.8, respectively, in South Korea, compared with the OECD average of 16.4 and 26.1, respectively.

South Korea, meanwhile, had 2.3 doctors per every 1,000 people in 2016, far below the OECD average of 3.4. The data included licensed physicians practicing oriental medicine.

According to the data, Turkey scored the lowest in physician density with 1.8 per 1,000 population.

Greece ranked No. 1 with 6.6 doctors per 1,000 people, followed by Austria with 5.1, Portugal with 4.8 and Norway with 4.5, the latest findings showed.

South Korea still lacks a substantial expansion in its medical workforce, mainly due to the low number of medical graduates. The number of medical graduates per every 100,000 population came to 7.9 in 2016, compared with an OECD average of 12. (Yonhap)