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  HOME PAGE 23/05/2024 13:06 
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Disruption Of Medical Services In South Korea Intensifies As Medics Protest

22.02.2024 17:12

Major general hospitals in capital Seoul, across country struggling to cope with patients due to work stoppage.

An ongoing disruption in medical services to patients across South Korea further intensified on Thursday despite the government's repeated warnings of taking legal action against trainee doctors who have been protesting a plan to boost the number of medical students.

Major general hospitals in the capital Seoul and across the country have been struggling to cope with patients due to work stoppage by the trainee doctors who oppose the government's plan to raise the medical school admission "a by 2,000 seats, the Seoul-based Yonhap News reported.

Currently, South Korea's annual enrollment for medical seats is 3,058.

Authorities said they would see arrest warrants for those who spearhead the collective resignations by interns and resident doctors nationwide.

Some 9,275 trainee doctors, who make up over 74% of all junior doctors in the country, have submitted their resignations, and 8,024 of them left their worksites, Second Vice Health Minister Park Min-soo told reporters in Seoul.

He said the government has ordered more than 6,000 interns to return to work. So far, he added, his ministry has received some 150 complaints in connection with the trainee doctors' collective resignations.

"The power of doctors does not come from collective action," Park said, urging the protesting doctors "to remember that patients are (currently) waiting for them."

Park also urged the protesting doctors to participate in negotiations with the government to resolve the issue.

The Korean Intern Resident Association, a nationwide grouping of trainee doctors, demanded the government withdraw the plan to increase the number of medical students.

The raging protests and mass resignations have compelled the government to call military hospitals to fill the gaps in the health sector and provide treatment to civilian patients.

South Korea's healthcare system heavily relies on trainee doctors, especially in emergency and acute care.

To meet the needs of patients, the government extended normal working hours at the hospitals in Seoul. -



 
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