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Tuesday, 23 April, 2024

S. Korea doctors' group accuses govt of 'intimidation'

Express Desk
  29 Feb 2024, 03:23

A South Korean doctors' group accused the government of "intimidation" Wednesday, on the eve of a deadline for nearly 10,000 protesting trainee medics to return to work or face punishment.

Official figures show 9,937 junior doctors -- or 80.8 percent of the trainee workforce -- have resigned and walked off the job at 99 general hospitals to protest government plans to sharply increase medical school admissions to cope with shortages and an ageing society.

Polling shows the reforms enjoy broad support, and the government has set a Thursday deadline for doctors to return to their jobs, warning of legal action -- including prosecution and the suspension of licences -- against those who refuse.

A representative of the Korean Medical Association (KMA), a prominent interest group for senior doctors, slammed the government on Wednesday for attempting to resolve the issue with threats "rather than dialogue".

"It is disheartening to witness the government's excessive accusations and intimidation tactics," spokesman Joo Soo-ho told reporters. 

"If the government intensifies its punishment after March 1st, there will be no more resident doctors and specialists produced in the future."
The health ministry requested on Tuesday that police launch a probe into people connected to the walkout, including five linked to the KMA.

The mass work stoppage has resulted in cancellations and postponements of surgeries, chemotherapy and C-sections, with the government raising its public health alert to the highest level.

Authorities have visited the homes of certain trainee doctors to personally deliver return orders, ensuring that they are not able to evade them by, for instance, turning off their phones to avoid receiving them via text message.

Seoul says it has one of the lowest doctor-to-patient ratios among developed countries, and the government is pushing hard to admit 2,000 more students to medical schools annually, starting next year.

Doctors have voiced fierce opposition to the government's plan, maintaining it would hurt the quality of service.

But proponents of the reform say doctors are mainly concerned the reforms could erode their salaries and social status.
Polls suggest up to 75 percent of the South Korean public supports the increase in medical school admissions, with those living in remote areas struggling to access quality health care.

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S. Korea doctors' group accuses govt of 'intimidation'

Express Desk
  29 Feb 2024, 03:23

A South Korean doctors' group accused the government of "intimidation" Wednesday, on the eve of a deadline for nearly 10,000 protesting trainee medics to return to work or face punishment.

Official figures show 9,937 junior doctors -- or 80.8 percent of the trainee workforce -- have resigned and walked off the job at 99 general hospitals to protest government plans to sharply increase medical school admissions to cope with shortages and an ageing society.

Polling shows the reforms enjoy broad support, and the government has set a Thursday deadline for doctors to return to their jobs, warning of legal action -- including prosecution and the suspension of licences -- against those who refuse.

A representative of the Korean Medical Association (KMA), a prominent interest group for senior doctors, slammed the government on Wednesday for attempting to resolve the issue with threats "rather than dialogue".

"It is disheartening to witness the government's excessive accusations and intimidation tactics," spokesman Joo Soo-ho told reporters. 

"If the government intensifies its punishment after March 1st, there will be no more resident doctors and specialists produced in the future."
The health ministry requested on Tuesday that police launch a probe into people connected to the walkout, including five linked to the KMA.

The mass work stoppage has resulted in cancellations and postponements of surgeries, chemotherapy and C-sections, with the government raising its public health alert to the highest level.

Authorities have visited the homes of certain trainee doctors to personally deliver return orders, ensuring that they are not able to evade them by, for instance, turning off their phones to avoid receiving them via text message.

Seoul says it has one of the lowest doctor-to-patient ratios among developed countries, and the government is pushing hard to admit 2,000 more students to medical schools annually, starting next year.

Doctors have voiced fierce opposition to the government's plan, maintaining it would hurt the quality of service.

But proponents of the reform say doctors are mainly concerned the reforms could erode their salaries and social status.
Polls suggest up to 75 percent of the South Korean public supports the increase in medical school admissions, with those living in remote areas struggling to access quality health care.

Comments

More than 14 Palestinians killed as violence flares in West Bank
US House passes $95 billion Ukraine, Israel aid package, sends to Senate
Israeli missile hits Iran, US officials confirm
Tehran signals no retaliation against Israel after drones attack Iran
Indians vote in huge election dominated by jobs, Hindu pride and Modi