South Korea's government aims to create 55,000 new jobs in the healthcare services sector by 2022 and the plan includes the hiring of 9,300 nurses to help upgrade quality of medical services, officials said Friday.
The Presidential Committee on Job Creation finalized the new policy goal, saying demand for healthcare workers will steadily rise due to population aging and greater public attention to health.
The committee said the healthcare industry has a great deal of job creation potential, as its employment inducement coefficient, which refers to the number of new jobs created by an investment of 1 billion won ($890,000), is 16.7 persons, nearly twice the average of all industries, 8.7 persons.
"Healthcare jobs require national attention, as they are high-quality jobs with a high level of expertise and are directly linked to the quality of medical services and the safety of patients," a committee official said.
The new policy goal calls for increasing the number of nurses by 9,300 over the next four years to help improve their working environment, which is aggravated by excessive night shifts.
The average annual working hours of domestic nurses is 2,543 hours, compared with the average of 2,111 hours by all workers.
To expand nursing staff, the government will push to gradually increase the entrance quota of domestic nursing colleges. Next year, the quota will increase by 700.
Newly hired nurses will also take care of vulnerable households, including elderly people living alone.
The committee said 30,000 caregiver jobs will be created to help ease the financial burdens of the families of patients.
Other jobs newly created by 2022 will include 1,700 for personalized disease management, 1,700 for the provision of preventive and continuous healthcare services, and 3,400 for professional medical services.
The presidential committee also approved a plan to establish "social services centers" nationwide to better take care of underprivileged children and senior citizens. (Yonhap)