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More Than 6,000 Trainee Doctors Submit Resignation Letters, Leading to Suspended Surgeries

Written: 2024-02-20 15:47:35Updated: 2024-02-21 18:45:00

More Than 6,000 Trainee Doctors Submit Resignation Letters, Leading to Suspended Surgeries

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: Surgeries have been put on hold and doctor’s appointments postponed as thousands of trainee doctors submitted their resignations, and many walked off their jobs in protest of the government's plan to increase the medical school admissions quota. The government has ordered doctors to return to their duties or face consequences.
Max Lee reports.

Report: According to an inspection by the Central Accident Management Headquarters of one-hundred major teaching hospitals, it found that six-thousand-415 trainee doctors had submitted their resignation letters as of 11 p.m. Monday.

This amounts to 55 percent of the approximately 13-thousand trainee doctors in the nation.

Of the six-thousand-415 trainee doctors, one-thousand-630 have left their jobs as of 6 a.m. Tuesday, in protest of the government's plan to increase the medical school admissions quota.

However, in accordance with the Ministry of Health and Welfare's order prohibiting hospitals from accepting their collective letters of resignation, none of the letters handed in by the trainee doctors were officially accepted.

As of Tuesday, the health ministry has issued a back-to-work order for 831 trainee doctors, with more orders to be issued after on-site inspections of teaching schools nationwide.

The health ministry further warned that with a back-to-work order in effect, their licenses will be suspended if they don't return to their duties.

As a result of the collective actions, some patients have already seen delays in surgeries and other treatments, with 25 operations reportedly being canceled due to the collective action as of 6 p.m. Monday, based on calls received at the Doctors’ Group Action Damage Reporting and Support Center.

In response to the collective action, Second Vice Health Minister Park Min-soo said that it's not the time for the trainee doctors to focus on studying law to evade government orders and avoid legal actions, but to use the medical skills they learned to save people's lives.

However, along with the trainee doctors, medical students nationwide have also taken part in their collective action, with over eleven-hundred students from seven medical schools applying for a leave of absence.

The Ministry of Education in response, requested for each school to strictly manage student group activities in accordance with school regulations.
Max Lee, KBS World Radio News.

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