April 20, 2024 5:15 am
South Korea adopts more conciliatory stance on decision to raise medical quotas

On April 3, the Korean Minister of Internal Affairs announced that the government is open to changing its medical school admission policy if a better proposal is presented. This statement was made by Interior Minister Lee Sang-min during a government response meeting amid ongoing conflicts with the medical community.

Lee emphasized that government policies are always open to change if strong rationale and better opinions are provided. He also stressed the government’s commitment to health reform and protecting the health and lives of the people. The Minister urged intern doctors to return to work and assured them that their opinions will be listened to and evaluated seriously as they continue to provide care to patients.

Since February 20, more than 90% of the country’s intern doctors have been on strike, protesting against the government’s plan to increase medical school admission quotas by 2,000. While there are no clear indications of the government reversing its decision, it remains open to negotiating with doctors to find a united and reasonable solution.

The strike by intern doctors has had a significant impact on the healthcare system in Korea, with medical professors at university hospitals reducing their hours and some tertiary hospitals limiting services due to staffing shortages. Striking doctors argue that this move will compromise the quality of education and medical services, leading to an oversupply of doctors. They suggest that officials should focus on increasing compensation and rewards for doctors to ensure their security in the industry.

The ongoing dispute between the government and the medical community highlights the challenges faced by the healthcare sector in Korea and underscores the need for collaborative solutions

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