March 31, 2015 12:52
Conventional doctors and nurses will be in short supply by 2030 but there will be a glut of traditional herbal doctors and dentists, a study by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs forecast Monday.
The study predicts that the number of doctors will rise 33.5 percent by 2030, from 105,563 this year to 140,908, but that will be some 5,000 to 10,000 fewer than the number actually needed.
There will be only 321,659 nurses in 2030, while some 500,000 are actually needed, according to the study. By contrast, the number of Oriental medicine practitioners will grow to 29,327, 700-1,800 more than needed.
A glut is also expected for dentists with 32,484, some 1,800-3,000 more than the required number.
The overall number of people working in the health and medical industries will increase from 538,482 this year to 956,338 in 2030, the report forecast.
In 2012, Korea had one physician for every 50.3 patients, much more than Japan's 31 patients and the OECD average of 13.3, a researcher at the institute said.
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