The Korean Society of Nuclear Medicine (KSNM) is blaming reductions in FDG-PET reimbursement for physicians' lack of interest in applying for nuclear medicine specialist training positions at the country's 51 major university hospitals.
The KSNM is asking the Korean government to reverse reductions in insurance coverage after only one person submitted an application for one of 24 trainee positions for 2019, according to a December 3 report from Korea Biomedical Review.
"The shortage in applicants was due to the Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service's [HIRA] excessive reduction of the reimbursement for FDG-PET, which is essential for cancer treatment," the society stated in the article.
Seven people applied for 19 vacancies for 2017 in nuclear medicine departments at 52 trainee hospitals. The number of FDG-PET scans also decreased from 314,000 in 2014 to 142,000 in 2017, the article noted.