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Expanding staff for the first time in 27 years despite opposition from the medical community… Concerns over repeated ‘frustration due to backlash from doctors’

“If we hadn’t reduced the number of doctors, there would have been 10,000 more doctors.” Belated regret

With the three major reforms lacking, even ‘medical reform’ may run aground… Government: “We will maintain strict response”

Minister of Health and Welfare Cho Kyu-hong talks about the reason for expanding the medical school admission quota by 2,000 students.

Minister of Health and Welfare Cho Kyu-hong talks about the reason for expanding the medical school admission quota by 2,000 students.

(Seoul = Larose.VIP) Reporter Kim Byeong-gyu = As the collective action movement of the medical community, including residents and medical students, is accelerating, attention is being paid to whether the government will unwaveringly push forward with the announcement of ‘increasing the number of medical students by 2,000 for the first time in 27 years’.

The government has decided to maintain a policy of ‘stern response’ to collective action in order to avoid repeating the ‘past’ when the push to increase medical schools was frustrated by opposition from doctors.

This policy is based on reflection that reducing the number of medical schools in the past in response to the demands of doctors is the cause of the current doctor shortage.

According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the medical community on the 18th, residents at the ‘Big 5’ hospitals in the metropolitan area announced their collective resignation and plans to leave the medical field on the 20th, and a group of medical students and medical graduate students announced that they would submit an alliance (group) leave of absence report on the same day.

Collective action began in earnest 10 days after the government announced the size of the increase in medical schools on the 6th, and the conflict between the medical community and the government is expected to worsen for the time being.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare, which has said that it will “take strict action against group action even if it means revoking the doctor’s license,” issued a new order on this day and showed no hesitation by quickly conducting on-site inspections.

Already, each training hospital has been ordered to ‘prohibit the acceptance of collective resignation letters’ and medical groups such as the Korean Medical Association have been ordered to ‘prohibit group action and teachers of group action’, and all training hospitals have been ordered to ‘not allow the use of group leave and maintain essential medical care’. I gave an order.

On-site inspections were conducted at hospitals where residents were known to have failed to show up for work, and individual work start orders were issued for residents who refused treatment.

Regarding the filing and then withdrawal of complaints against 10 residents and full-time doctors (fellows) who violated the order to commence work during the push to increase the number of medical schools in 2020, Vice Minister Park nailed it, saying, “This time, there is no ex post relief or leniency.”

The President’s Office also once again emphasized its policy to respond sternly to doctors’ collective actions.

An official from the President’s Office said, “There is no room for adjustment” regarding the scale of the increase in medical schools, and “We will do everything possible to protect the health and lives of the people.”

Doctors take to the streets

Doctors take to the streets

The reason the government is not taking such a hard line is to avoid repeating the past, when it pushed to increase the number of medical schools but stopped due to opposition from doctors.

The number of medical school students has been frozen at 3,058 since 2006. The Ministry of Health and Welfare considered increasing the number of medical schools based on research services, etc., but medical groups pressured the government each time to ‘preemptively block’ the expansion.

In response to the public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the government proposed a plan to train a total of 4,000 additional doctors over 10 years starting from the 2022 school year.

However, the plan was eventually abandoned due to strong opposition from the medical community, with medical associations and residents taking a mass vacation and medical students refusing to take the national medical exam.

Within the Ministry of Health and Welfare, there is a strong will not to repeat the situation where medical school expansion has been frustrated every time.

In a recent briefing, Second Vice Minister of Health and Welfare Park Min-soo mentioned the situation in which the number of students at medical schools was reduced by 351 from 2000 to 2006 after the division of medicine into medicine. It contains the meaning of ‘self-reflection’ that the reduction of the number of doctors due to pressure has become the cause of the current crisis in local and essential medical care due to a shortage of doctors.

Vice Minister Park said, “If we had not reduced the number of medical school students, 6,600 more doctors would have been produced in 2025 and over 10,000 more doctors in 2035.” “It’s at the level. It’s not that we’re increasing it too much, it’s too late,” he said.

From the perspective of the Yoon Seok-yeol government, ‘medical reform’, such as increasing the number of medical schools, has the meaning of being the only reform that is being vigorously promoted in a situation where the three major reforms of pension, education, and labor are not progressing.

Unlike other fields, increasing the number of medical schools is a policy that is overwhelmingly supported by both ruling and opposition parties, and public opinion also strongly supports it.

If the increase in personnel is once again thwarted by opposition from doctors, it will be difficult to avoid criticism that “even medical reform has failed” by missing a good opportunity that has come after a long time.

Nam Kyung-kyung, director of social policy at the Coalition for Economic Justice, said, “The fact that they filed a complaint and were treated leniently in 2020 ultimately imprinted on doctors the perception that they will not be punished. If the government fails to increase the number of troops and backs down this time, an opportunity like this may not come again.” He said, “Doctors’ resistance is a mountain that must be overcome in order to increase the number of troops, so the government must think about ways to overcome it wisely.”

Is collective resignation of medical residents spreading across the country?

Is mass resignation of medical residents spreading across the country?

bkkim@yna.co.kr

Report to KakaoTalk okjebo 2024/02/18 06:07 Sent

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