SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — A majority of pediatrics departments at training hospitals in Seoul are planning to reduce their medical treatment capacity due to a shortage of medical staff, a survey showed Monday.
The Korean Pediatric Society conducted two nationwide surveys of 96 pediatrics departments at training hospitals in September and December, 75 percent of which were planning to reduce medical treatment capacity.
At 61 percent, the majority were planning to close down or downsize emergency treatment. Others planned to make cuts to hospitalization capacity (12.5 percent) or the intensive care unit (5 percent).
Training hospitals said that the lack of residents in the pediatrics department has forced doctors to engage in on-call duty for longer than two years, reaching a capacity limit.
The survey showed that 32 percent of training hospitals had no residents to work in the pediatrics department next year. Residents currently in the pediatrics department filled no more than 39 percent of the open slots.
Several university hospitals in provincial regions run emergency rooms in the pediatrics department at night on weekdays only. In contrast, some have shut down the nighttime emergency rooms altogether, offering medical treatment only in the daytime.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)