The government and the doctors' association have agreed to discuss ways to increase the number of doctors while strengthening mandatory and regional medical services in the country.
The agreement between the health ministry and the Korean Medical Association(KMA) did not mention increasing medical school admissions, but the two sides reportedly agreed on a broad framework to expand the workforce through admissions adjustments.
With medical school admissions frozen at three-thousand-58 since 2006, the scope of the expansion and the schools affected is subject to speculation as an aging society and a rise in demand for medical care have generated concerns over a vacuum in service due to a shortage of doctors.
The two sides are expected to hold an experts' forum this month to get an estimation on supply and demand.
The case is being made for a larger expansion to address the growing reluctance of medical students to practice in essential departments, such as cardiothoracic surgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics.