The number of obstetrics and gynecology clinics has been falling every year for the past five years, as more ob-gyn clinics have been shutting down, government data showed.
According to the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service on Monday, 6,085 medical institutions, dental clinics, and pharmacies that offer health insurance coverage opened and 4,459 closed last year.
Among medical institutions, eight general hospitals, 125 hospitals, 101 nursing hospitals, and 1,313 clinics closed their service last year.
Among clinics, more ob-gyn, surgery, and thoracic surgery clinics closed than those that opened, leading the numbers of each of them to shrink last year than a year earlier.
In 2017, 46 ob-gyn clinics started medical services, but 59 closed business. The number of ob-gyn clinics dropped to 1,319 in 2017 from 1,338 a year earlier.
The number of ob-gyn clinics has steadily slid for the past five years – from 1,397 in 2013 to 1,366 in 2014 to 1,352 in 2015 to 1,338 in 2016, and 1,319 in 2017.
The number of surgery clinics, which used to be over 1,000, declined to 996 last year, as 31 clinics opened and 35 closed.
Two thoracic surgery clinics opened and three shut down last year, totaling the number at 47 in 2017.
More radiology clinics also closed than those that opened last year. The number of radiology clinics went down by three to 155 in 2017 from 158 in 2016.
The number of pediatric and adolescent medicine clinics, which had a reduction in medical costs due to low birth rates, also declined to 2,229 in 2017, with 126 opening and 125 closing.
According to the HIRA’s 2017 statistics, medical costs at pediatric and adolescent medicine clinics fell to 770.9 billion won ($682.7 million) in 2017, down 1.3 percent from 780.7 billion won in 2016. The pediatric and adolescent department was the only sector where medical costs went down among all clinics last year.
In contrast, medical costs at ob-gyn clinics surged to 747.9 billion won in 2017, up 19.4 percent from 626.3 billion won in 2016. The rise at ob-gyn clinics was the steepest among all the departments