Korea will face a shortage of more than 55,000 in 30 years' time if medical school admissions remain capped at the current level, according to a study.
Seoul National University's Hong Yun-chul in the study published Monday said there will be a shortage of up to 55,260 doctors by 2054 if the cap on medical school admissions remains at 3,058 students. If the cap is raised by 1,500 in 2021, Korea would still face a shortage of 27,755 doctors by 2048.
Based on population trend data from Statistics Korea, the number of medical treatments received by Koreans and the number of days of hospitalization will peak in 2043 and 2059.
"A rising population of elderly people causes an increase in the number of ailments and could result in an explosive growth in demand for medical services", Hong warned
Admissions have been capped at 3,058 since 2006. But raising the cap alone will not address the fundamental problems. Hong said, "There is a serious imbalance in the number of doctors in Seoul and the metropolitan area and other regions and this will have to be addressed as well".
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