|dc.description.abstract||The number of health care institutions in Korea increased from 72,917 in 2006 to 80,850 in 2010, an annual average of 2.6%. The annual increase rate ranged between 3.7% for Gyung-gi and 1.5% for Gang-won and Jeju. In terms of the type of establishment, the most increase in number was in private clinics from 67,799 in 2006 to 75,171 in 2010, an annual average of 2.6, while during the same period public health care institutions increased by as little as 0.3% annually from 3,526 to 3,565. The number of medical corporations increased at the highest rate among all health care institutions, at an annual average of 8.6%, from 697 in 2006 to 971 in 2010. By provider type, the number of “hospitals and clinics” increased at an annual rate of 2.8% from 26,584 to 29,708, “dental hospitals and clinics” from 12,768 to 14,612 (3.4%), and “oriental medical hospitals and clinics” from 10,061 to 12,100 (4.7%).
Of all specialty practice areas, those that saw decreases include internal medicine, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, chest surgery, thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, obstetrics & gynecology, pediatrics, urology, radiology, and laboratory medicine, while anesthesiology, ophthalmology, dermatology, rehabilitation medicine, and family medicine were found to have increased in their proportions in all specialty areas offered. The number of beds increased by 80% times during the same period, from 325,169 to 586,374, among which acute care beds took up increased from 296,909 to 486,265, a 60% increase, and long-term care beds by 3.5 times from 28,260 to 100,209. Over the past 5 years between 2006 and 2010, the number of doctors grew by an annual average of 5.2% from 66,207 to 81,117. Dentists numbered 20,667 as of 2010, rising by 3.8% annually from 17,787 in 2006, and the number of nurses increased by an annual average of 5.3%, from 92,216 to 113,497. The number of doctors per 100,000 population increased by 28.9 from 137.1 in 2006 to 166.0 in 2010. There was only a modicum of increase in the number of CT scanners, from 1,556 to 1,705, while the number of MRI scanners increased by 50% from 616 to 922 and the number of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripters (ESWL) by 40% from 481 to 697 units. The per-100,000-population number increased to a great extent for both MRI scanners and ESWL, from 1.3 to 1.9 and from 1 to 1.4, respectively.
Health care resources need to be allocated in an efficient and equitable manner so as to allow all in all areas access to quality services. Policy consideration on health care resources needs to focus primarily on how to raise the rationality, efficiency, equitability of their distribution. To do this would require monitoring health care demand and supply, setting distributive principles and thresholds for different areas, establishing residence-based health care entitlements, and dividing the roles of different providers.|