In March 2023, a 17-year-old girl who fell from a building in the South Korean city of Daegu died after her ambulance was turned away by three hospitals that lacked doctors to treat her.

She was among more than 3,750 patients who have died since 2017 after local hospitals refused to provide care, according to a report by Cheong Yooseok, a professor of medical science at Dankook University in Cheonan city.

The startling statistic from one of Asia’s richest countries has become a major issue in the parliamentary elections taking place on Wednesday.