SEOUL, Oct. 8 (Korea Bizwire) — Doctors with private practices make an average of 20.3 million won (US$17,535) a month, nearly double what they earned a decade ago, a lawmaker said Thursday.
Rep. Jang Chul-min of the ruling Democratic Party said he deduced the average monthly earnings of private practice doctors from their health insurance premiums and found the amount to be 20.3 million won in June, up 90 percent from 10.7 million won in June 2010.
Nominal wages for all workers are estimated to have increased by an average of 33.4 percent over the same period, according to government data.
“Doctors’ earnings are rising sharply because the medical labor market is being distorted as a result of artificial limits on supply,” said the lawmaker, who serves on the National Assembly’s Environment and Labor Committee.
“I will come up with ways to improve the system so that the number of working doctors matches the market demand,” he added.
By region, doctors in North Gyeongsang Province earned the most at 21.8 million won, followed by South Chungcheong Province (21.7 million won) and North Chungcheong Province (21.5 million won). These regions have a low doctor-per-capita rate.
By contrast, doctors in large cities earned less: 15.6 million won in Sejong, 16 million won in Seoul and 17.5 million won in Gwangju and Daejeon.
By specialty, eye doctors earned the most at 31.57 million won, followed by obstetricians (20.49 million won), dermatologists and urologists (19.83 million won), and plastic surgeons (19.52 million won).