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Trainee Doctors Leave Hospitals in Protest to Planned Increase of Doctors

Written: 2024-02-21 14:44:34Updated: 2024-02-21 18:24:32

Trainee Doctors Leave Hospitals in Protest to Planned Increase of Doctors

Photo : KBS News

Anchor: Amid ongoing strife between the government and the medical community over the former's planned expansion of the medical school admissions quota and other issues, nearly nine-thousand trainee doctors have submitted their letters of resignation in a show of protest. The doctors are calling for a withdrawal of the quota increase plan, as well as the government's return-to-work order.
Choi You Sun reports.

Report: Close to nine-thousand trainee doctors in the country have submitted their resignations in protest of the government's plan to increase the medical school admissions quota.

The health ministry said inspections of 100 major teaching hospitals found that as of 10 p.m. Tuesday, eight-thousand-816 trainee doctors, or 71-point-two percent of the total, had tendered their resignations, none of which have been accepted.

Of those who submitted resignations, seven-thousand-813, or slightly over 63 percent, have left their jobs, prompting the ministry to issue notices regarding the return-to-work order for an additional five-thousand-397.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Korean Intern Resident Association(KIRA) said the government's heavy-handedness led to their decision to resign en masse, claiming that the government is treating them like criminals.

The group urged the government to call off the planned quota hike, set up a body to conduct a scientific estimation of an appropriate number of doctors and to withdraw the return-to-work order.

As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, the government received 58 reports of damages caused by the collective action, mostly cancellations of surgical procedures and doctor's appointments. Up to 50 percent of planned surgeries were postponed at the "Big Five" general hospitals in Seoul.

The government held a meeting with the heads of 97 public medical institutions nationwide, where a decision was made to operate all public institutions under a round-the-clock emergency system and to expand patient consultation hours.

Also at the nation's medical schools, eight-thousand-753 students, or 43-point-eight percent of some 20-thousand nationwide, have applied for a leave of absence as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, in apparent protest of the quota plan.

Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

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