Doctors In South Korea Will Protest As Hospitals Reject Patients



Thirteen of South Korea’s largest hospitals had red alerts in their emergency rooms on Thursday because trainee doctors had threatened to not work because they didn’t agree with the government’s plans to let more people into medical school to help the healthcare industry.

Since the protest by almost two-thirds of the country’s young doctors started this week, hospitals have had to turn away patients and stop procedures. This has caused people to worry that the medical system could be even more harmed if the dispute goes on for a long time.

The health ministry says that more than 8,400 doctors have joined the walkout so far. This is about 64% of all the resident and student doctors in South Korea.

The government has said they will arrest the doctors who are leading the strike. In order to improve the healthcare system of one of the world’s fastest-aging societies, the government wants to increase the number of students accepted to medical school. The doctors are protesting against this plan.

The doctors say the real problem is the pay and the way they work. Park Dan, the leader of the protesting Korea Interns and Residents Association, stated his willingness to be arrested to ensure the doctors’ demands are fulfilled.

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“We are all leaving hospitals because we are all mad and upset.” He urged listeners to pay attention to their message, emphasising their willingness to engage in dialogue if the government was open to listening.The government has instructed doctors to prioritise their patients and end their protests.

According to the Seoul Medical Association, a large group of doctors in Seoul will hold a protest in front of President Yoon Suk Yeol’s office late Thursday night.

Many Koreans agree with the government’s plan. A recent Gallup poll showed that about 76% of people surveyed agreed, regardless of their political views.

But the protests say that South Korea already has enough doctors and that the government should raise pay and cut back on work, especially in important areas like emergency medicine and paediatrics, before hiring more students.

According to JoongAng Ilbo, patients from the countryside with delayed procedures have reserved all the motel rooms and rental houses near Seoul’s main hospitals.

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