Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said the planned expansion of the quota for medical school admissions is the starting point for medical reform, and stated that the public supports the government’s plans.
Presiding over a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Han said the government reiterated its position that it will not hesitate to push ahead with the expansion with only the future of the country and its people in mind.
As for the medical community's implied group action in protest of the quota expansion, the prime minister pledged to take stern measures against their illegal acts that threaten public health and lives in accordance with the law and principle.
Han strongly emphasized the imperativeness and necessity of the expansion, citing the current shortage of doctors in an aging society, and the fact that medical school admissions have not increased since 1998.
Acknowledging that the quota expansion would not resolve all issues, such as doctors' shortages in essential medicine and outside the capital region, the prime minister said it is only a part of a bigger picture under the government's push for institutional reforms.