South Korea protests: Senior doctors submit their resignations in support of the strike

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Top doctors at major hospitals in South Korea began handing in their resignations en masse Monday to support medical trainees and residents who were on a five-week strike over the coronavirus. Government payment To sharply increase acceptance rates in medical colleges.

The action taken by senior doctors is unlikely to cause an immediate worsening of hospital operations in South Korea because they said they would continue to work even after submitting their resignations. But the prospects for an early end to the medical impasse were also bleak, where the doctors' planned action comes next President Yoon Suk-yeol He called for talks with doctors, proposing possible relief Punitive steps Against young doctors on strike.

About 12,000 Medical trainees and residents They faced imminent suspension of their licenses due to to reject To end their strikes, which caused the cancellation of hundreds of surgeries and other treatments in their hospitals.

They oppose the government's plan to increase the maximum admission limit to the country's medical schools by two-thirds, saying the schools cannot handle such a sharp increase in the number of students and that it will ultimately hurt South Korea's medical services. But officials say more doctors are urgently needed because South Korea has a rapidly aging population and its doctor-to-population ratio is one of the lowest in the developed world.

In a meeting with ruling party leader Han Dong-hun on Sunday, representatives of medical professors and doctors at about 40 university hospitals – where junior doctors worked during training – expressed their support for the striking doctors, saying the government's recruitment plan “would collapse us.” “The country’s medical system,” Kim Chang-soo, head of the emergency committee at those universities, said Monday.

See also  Families urged to delete TikTok and social media ahead of potential videos of Israeli hostages

Kim described Yoon's offer as a positive step but said the current standoff between doctors and the government will not be resolved unless the government backs down on the recruitment plan.

He said that doctors in universities are expected to adhere to previous plans to submit their resignations voluntarily and reduce their working hours to 52 hours per week – which is the maximum number of legal weekly working hours. Observers say that senior doctors face increased workloads after their juniors left their hospitals.

“If the government has the intention to withdraw its plan or has the intention to consider it, we are willing to discuss all outstanding issues with the government before the public,” Kim said.

Later on Monday, an unspecified number of senior doctors came forward and submitted their resignations, according to doctors participating in the protests. They said that some doctors had already submitted their resignations last week.

After Sunday's meeting, Han asked Yoon's office to “deal flexibly” with the issue Planned license suspension For the striking doctors. Yoon then asked his prime minister to follow a “flexible procedure” to resolve the dispute and seek constructive consultations with doctors, according to Yoon's office.

It is unclear if and when the government and doctors will sit down for talks and reach a breakthrough. Some observers say the government's potential easing of sanctions on striking doctors and its pursuit of dialogue with doctors are likely linked to parliamentary elections scheduled for next month, as further disruption of hospital operations would not be beneficial to ruling party candidates.

See also  Kramatorsk: Alleged Russian spy charged with fatal blow

The striking junior doctors represent less than 10% of South Korea's 140,000 doctors. But in some major hospitals, they represent about 30% to 40% of the doctors, assisting senior doctors during surgeries and dealing with inpatients during training.

Public polls show that a majority of South Koreans support the government's push to create more doctors, and critics say doctors, one of the highest-paid professions in South Korea, are concerned about falling income due to the high number of doctors.

Officials say more doctors are needed to address a long-standing shortage of doctors in rural areas and in basic but low-paying specialties. But doctors say the newly hired students will also try to work in the D.C. area and in high-paying fields like plastic surgery and dermatology. They say the government's plan will also likely lead to doctors performing unnecessary treatments due to increased competition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *