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PM: President Yoon Seeks Meeting with Trainee Doctors

Written: 2024-04-03 10:05:02Updated: 2024-04-03 14:17:29

PM: President Yoon Seeks Meeting with Trainee Doctors

Photo : KBS

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo says President Yoon Suk Yeol is seeking to meet with trainee doctors who resigned en masse in protest of the government's medical reform plan.

Appearing on a KBS news program Tuesday night, the prime minister said that Yoon wants to hold a sincere conversation with junior doctors regardless of time and place, and without limiting the topic of discussion. 

While noting that efforts are already under way to arrange a meeting, Han also asked parents, medical professors and people around the trainee doctors to persuade them to participate in the dialogue.  

As the government has been pushing ahead with its plan to increase the annual medical admissions quota by two thousand seats, over 90 percent of the nation's trainee doctors have left their positions since February, calling for the government to reconsider.  

The prime minister's comments came just a day after Yoon delivered a televised address, during which he championed his medical reform measures and asked the trainee doctors to return to work. 

The Medical Professors Association of Korea held a briefing earlier on Tuesday, urging the head of the Korea Intern Resident Association to meet the president when an offer for dialogue is delivered.

Regarding the planned formation of a presidential special committee on medical reform, the prime minister said that the group will involve government officials, medical doctors and public health experts, as well as patients and other members of the public.  

Han also pledged the government would provide financial support to enable the implementation of its medical reform measures, noting that President Yoon instructed the finance ministry to sharply increase the budget for medical reform during a Cabinet meeting. 

The prime minister said that massive funds will be employed to improve the working conditions of trainee doctors, boost regional and essential medical services, and upgrade educational infrastructure for medical students in the case of a quota increase.

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