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J Korean Soc Matern Child Health > Volume 21(1); 2017 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Maternal and Child Health 2017;21(1):14-23.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.21896/jksmch.2017.21.1.14    Published online January 31, 2017.
Secure Plan of Appropriate Obstetricians and Nurses for Safe Childbirth in Korea
Tae Gyu Ahn, Jong Yun Hwang
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kangwon National University School of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea
출산환경안정을 위한 적정의료인력 확보 방안
안태규, 황종윤
강원대학교 의학전문대학원 산부인과학교실
Correspondence:  Jong Yun Hwang,
Email: rapidhwang@kangwon.ac.kr
Because childbirth is a complex and difficult process, intensive preparation, and the immediate availability of emergency assistance during every step of delivery support to maternal safety. The World Health Organization recommends that pregnant women must be able to access the right care at the right time. Appropriate obstetricians is important factor for easy access during pregnancy. Especially, an increase in the number of specialists in maternal-fetal medicine would greatly improve the pregnancy outcomes of high-risk women. In 2013, a total of 2,274 obstetricians were employed in maternity hospitals and clinics in Korea. Their average age was 44.8 years and they will get older soon. By 2026, 740 junior obstetricians will join the maternity care system, but 916 senior obstetricians will have retired on night duty at hospital because of above 60 years of age. Thus, obstetrician numbers will fall by 176. Korea requires 2,338~3,507 obstetricians based on an annual number of deliveries per obstetrician in 2016. However, Korea has a shortage of obstetricians because of the low birth rate-induced business losses, inadequate payment system by the national health insurance program, and the quality-of-life preferences of young doctors. Ensuring an appropriate supply of obstetricians is essential for infrastructure of safe childbirth. I believe that adequate payment by the national health insurance program, and new medical insurance fees for management of high-risk pregnancies, will encourage young doctors to become obstetricians. The government should also introduce additional night duty fees and overseas training programs for young obstetricians.
Key Words: safe childbirth, obstetricians, high risk pregnancy, maternity care system, maternal- fetal medicine
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