Sixty-four percent of foreign doctors who graduated from medical schools outside Korea and passed the Korean medical licensing test were working at general or tertiary hospitals in Korea, government data showed.
In contrast, 75 percent of foreign dentists were working at clinics in the country.
According to data from the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service submitted to the National Assembly, the number of foreign doctors working in Korea recorded 115 as of June, and 91 of them, or 79.1 percent, worked at medical institutions.
More than a third of them, or 32 doctors (35.2 percent), practiced medicine at general hospitals, and 26 (28.6 percent), at tertiary hospitals.
Twenty (22 percent) worked at clinics, six (6.6 percent) at nursing hospitals, five (5.5 percent) at public health centers’ branches, one (1.1 percent) at a hospital, and one (1.1 percent) at a public health center.
On the other hand, most of the dentists holding foreign degrees in dentistry were working at dental clinics in Korea.
A total of 197 foreign dentists earned local medical license after graduating from foreign medical colleges, and 139 (70.6 percent) of them worked at medical institutions.
Out of 139, 105 (75.5 percent) worked at dental clinics and 21 (15.1 percent) at dental hospitals. Three were at tertiary hospitals, and four at general hospitals.
People who graduated from foreign medical colleges approved by the Ministry of Health and Welfare are qualified to take the Korean Medical Licensing Examination (KMLE) to practice medicine or dentistry.
The ministry recognizes 137 foreign medical colleges and 121 overseas dental medical colleges.
According to data from Korea Health Personnel Licensing Examination Institute submitted to Rep. Kim Seung-hee of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, 148 applicants from foreign medical schools took the state medical licensing test and 89 (60.1 percent) of them passed the exam between 2004 and August 2019.
In dental medicine, however, only 36.1 percent, or 176 of the 488 foreign applicants, passed the dentist licensing exam during the same period.
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