S. Korea to deploy more staff as doctors at 5 major hospitals take weekly breaks

Seoul, April 29 : South Korea’s Health Minister Cho Kyoo-hong, on Monday, said that the government plans to deploy more medical staff as senior doctors at five major hospitals in Seoul decided to take a weekly day off starting this week.

Cho also renewed a pledge to accomplish medical reform, although a mass walkout by trainee doctors has crippled public health services at major hospitals for more than two months, Yonhap news agency reported.

The government will “further strengthen the emergency treatment system by sending more medical personnel to prevent damage to patients because of sudden resignations or leaves of absence by medical professors,” Cho told at a government response meeting.

Cho said that the government will “unwaveringly push for medical reform,” while calling for senior and junior doctors to stop their collective action against the government’s plan to hike the number of medical students.

Last week, medical professors working for South Korea’s five major hospitals — Asan Medical Center, Samsung Medical Center, Severance Hospital, Seoul National University Hospital, and Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital — decided to suspend their work either on a day, or every week.

Those serving at Seoul National University Hospital will take a day off on Tuesday, and Severance professors will take a weekly break starting Tuesday through end of May.

Asan centre professors vowed not to work on Tuesday and Friday, and professors for Samsung and St. Mary’s hospitals are discussing exactly when to take a day off, the report said.

About 12,000 trainee doctors have left their worksites since February 20 in protest of the plan to boost the number of medical students by 2,000, causing delays in medical treatments, with some emergency rooms partially limiting their treatment of critically ill patients.

The government launched a special presidential commission on medical reform on Thursday for talks on the issue with the medical community, including doctors.

It also decided to allow universities to decide their quotas by a range of 50 to 100 per cent of what the government assigned for next year.

But doctors have rejected the proposals, calling for the government to revisit the issue from scratch.

Separately, Second Vice Health Minister Park Min-soo repeated calls for doctors to find progress through talks to resolve the standoff over the hike in medical school admissions, the report said.

“The government has a willingness to hold one-on-one dialogues with the medical community,” Park said.

Park said the government would increase compensation for treatment of cerebrovascular disease and organ transplants, as part of its efforts to support essential medical fields.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

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

Back to top button