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Medical students discuss ‘refusing group classes’… No official announcement

“Some doctors’ reputation has been tarnished by excessive remarks… Violent language must stop.”

Vice Minister Park Min-soo briefing the Doctors' Collective Action Central Accident Control Headquarters

Vice Minister Park Min-soo briefing the Doctors’ Collective Action Central Accident Control Headquarters

(Seoul = Larose.VIP) Reporter Kim Byeong-gyu and Seo Seong-ho = The Ministry of Health and Welfare asked residents and medical students who recently discussed collective action plans in opposition to the expansion of medical schools to focus on their studies and training. This is an indirect request not to engage in collective action.

They urged their senior doctors, former officials of the Korean Medical Association (KMA), not to encourage group action and to stop making violent remarks.

Park Min-soo, Second Vice Minister of Health and Welfare, said this at a briefing held after the meeting of the ‘Physicians’ Collective Action Central Accident Control Headquarters (Heavy Duty Version)’ on the 14th.

Vice Minister Park emphasized, “Residents and medical students are the future of medical care in Korea,” and “The medical reform promoted by the government is intended to improve the workplace so that young doctors can focus on medical treatment with pride.”

He said, “The government will definitely improve the working conditions of young doctors,” and added, “I ask residents and medical students to pour their vitality and energy as young doctors into their studies, training, and medical development.”

The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced that it had no knowledge of the rumor that the Korean Medical University and Graduate School of Medicine Student Association (KMA) held an online extraordinary general meeting and decided on a ‘group boycott of classes’ the previous day.

The Korean Medical Association held an extraordinary general meeting of delegates from the evening before until late at night and discussed group action plans. It is known that at the meeting, there were opinions that included a request to take a leave of absence for the first semester starting next month and an opinion that students should not attend classes for a certain period of time.

Regarding the results of the meeting, in the online community for doctors and medical students, there are posts saying that medical students and medical school students collectively decided to refuse classes at the meeting, and posts saying that no decision has been made. It is reported that the Korea Medical Association will officially announce the results of the discussion on the 15th.

Vice Minister Park said at a briefing, “We are understanding the same as the reporters,” and “Because there is no official statement of position yet, we are understanding at that level.”

Recently, the principle that the movement of some medical residents to submit their resignations can be considered a collective action was reaffirmed.

The day before, an intern at a general hospital said on YouTube, “I decided to resign and take a break for personal reasons. If you see this video and think that I am leading collective action, you can take my license.”

Vice Minister Park said, “Even if it is individual, if you have discussed it with colleagues in advance, it can be viewed as a collective resignation.” He added, “In individual hospitals, when receiving a resignation letter, the reason is carefully examined through consultation, and if it is not an individual reason, it is a group decision made by the government.” “We must follow the order prohibiting acceptance of the resignation letter,” he said.

He requested that the struggle method of not signing a residency contract after the internship period, rather than submitting a resignation letter, be reconsidered because it could be considered a collective action and would have great disadvantages.

Vice Minister Park said, “Most medical residents sign contracts for multiple years, and there are few who sign contracts on an annual basis. Even when signing a contract on an annual basis, according to the training rules, you must express your intention not to sign a contract one month in advance, but the contract renewal period is February. “As it is late to early March, the period for expressing intention not to contract has passed, so the hospital may not accept it,” he explained.

In addition, “It is said that there are cases where individuals do not apply for residency, and in this case, interns who have not served in the military must enlist in the military,” he said. “The personal damage is enormous, including having to play without it,” he added.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare plans to provide a forum for discussion with young doctors, including residents and medical students, and has requested that they actively participate in the conversation.

Vice Minister Park said to the families of young doctors, including residents, “We must ensure that the time of patience that the family endured until becoming a doctor is not in vain.” “I hope you will be encouraged to stay by the patient’s side,” he said.

He also said, “Some doctors who held key positions, such as the president of the Korean Medical Association, are instigating the struggle. Please stop this behavior immediately.” He also said, “Please stop spreading false facts or distorted information, and stop public officials or experts who support increasing the number of medical schools.” “Please stop using violent language towards people,” he said.

Some former presidents of the Korean Medical Association were on the crossroads of public opinion with comments such as “The government cannot defeat doctors,” “Did you think they would get tired of scaring you?” and “We will all leave the emergency medical field.”

Regarding the call to completely cancel the expansion of medical schools and the mandatory package policy, Vice Minister Park said, “Rather than ‘opposition for the sake of opposition’, which rejects everything without an alternative, please reveal what the problem is specifically and how it should be corrected.” He added, “The government is proposing “We will listen to any content and reflect it in our policies,” he said.

He went on to say, “The central government is checking the rapid implementation of essential package policies to promote medical reform without a hitch,” and added, “We will strengthen the role of the National University Hospital as a regional base hospital and develop clinical trials, research, and education in a balanced and groundbreaking manner.” “We will speed up the improvement of the system to make it happen,” he said.


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