S.Korea gives final warning to protesting medics

S.Korea gives final warning to protesting medics
S.Korea gives final warning to protesting medics

South Korea on Monday said it will suspend the licenses of protesting medics if they do not return to work by the end of this month.

More than 10,000 trainee doctors have resigned against government’s move to increase medical seats

President Yoon Suk-yeol stressed it was the state’s constitutional responsibility to provide timely medical treatment to people.

“Starting in March, the suspension of doctors’ licenses for a minimum of three months will become unavoidable for those who fail to return under the law and principle, along with judicial measures, such as investigations and prosecutions,” said Vice Health Minister Park Min-soo.

According to Seoul-based Yonhap News, 9,006 trainee doctors have walked off their jobs while 10,034 trainee doctors have submitted resignations.

Doctors are protesting the government’s plans to increase the number of medical seats to address a shortage of doctors, particularly in rural areas and essential medical fields, particularly high-risk surgeries, pediatrics, obstetrics, and emergency medicine.

Doctors, however, demand that the government rather focus on improving compensation to induce more physicians to practice in such unpopular areas.

The protest by doctors have put strain on healthcare across the country with South Korean military opening their hospitals for civilian patients.

South Korea has some 13,000 trainee doctors. The government wants to add 2,000 more seats to 3,058 students enrolled annually.

“It should be noted that a license suspension creates a record that may impact future career paths, including opportunities for employment abroad,” said the minister in a warning to unrelenting medics.

However, he added, the government will continue talking to the medical community.


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