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Gov't Orders Private Practitioners to Continue to Work and Report Planned Clinic Closures

Written: 2024-06-10 16:02:25Updated: 2024-06-10 16:43:42

Gov't Orders Private Practitioners to Continue to Work and Report Planned Clinic Closures

Photo : YONHAP News

In light of the Korean Medical Association’s(KMA) announcement of an all-out strike next Tuesday, the government has ordered private practitioners to continue to work and to report any planned clinic closures to the government in advance.

Deputy Health Minister Jun Byung-wang said on Monday that the orders were decided by the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters in accordance with the Medical Services Act.

The government plans to check whether all clinic-level medical institutions will be closed on the day of the strike and intends to issue another order for doctors to resume work if the closure rate exceeds 30 percent at the city or county level.

It warned that those that do not comply with the government's order to resume work may be subject to the suspension of their medical license for up to one year, imprisonment of up to three years, or a fine of up to 30 million won, or over 21-thousand U.S. dollars.

The government will also launch a legal review of whether the KMA has violated the Fair Trade Act by encouraging doctors' collective action. 

The deputy health minister emphasized that the move is the "minimum" legal response to protect the lives and health of the people in reaction to what he called the medical community's "illegal" strike.

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