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Investor-owned hospitals can create 19,000 jobs: report

All Headlines 06:00 September 07, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Yonhap) -- A think tank here on Wednesday urged the revision of government regulations that prohibit private investment in large hospitals, claiming investor-owned hospitals could help create up to 19,000 new jobs.

In a report, the Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) also argued investor-owned hospitals will generate up to 10 times more in taxes than non-profit hospitals while lowering the average medical costs of patients.

Investor-owned hospitals can create 19,000 jobs: report - 1

"Tax revenue from hospitals open to private investment will reach 475,000 won (US$430) per every 100 beds, 10.1 times more than the current 47,000 won for the same number of beds," the report said.

KERI is a private think tank run by the Federation of Korean Industries, the largest business lobby here that represents the country's top 600 companies.

Currently, all general and university hospitals in South Korea are non-profit organizations, meaning that any profit they generate must be kept within the organization.

Allowing investor-owned hospitals will immediately lead to 630 billion won in private investment to build new profit-taking institutes with some 19,000 new jobs, the report said.

Existing hospitals will also be allowed to replace their debts with investment, greatly lowering their financial costs and thus the average costs of their patients, it added.

"As the country is expected to experience a shortage of quality medical services while its population continues to age at a fast rate, the country must seek to address such a problem by allowing private investment in hospitals," KERI said in a press release.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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