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Mass resignation of medical residents spread nationwide, including at ‘Big 5’ hospitals

Hospitals adjust surgery schedules to ‘minimum’ considering seriousness and emergency cases

Patients were anxious, “The long-awaited surgery was postponed indefinitely” and “Pain-free injections are impossible during childbirth.”

Cancer surgery postponed indefinitely, twin birth postponed...  ‘Surgery crisis’ becomes a reality

Cancer surgery postponed indefinitely, twin birth postponed… ‘Surgery crisis’ becomes a reality

(Seoul = Larose.VIP) Reporters Seo Seong-ho, Oh Jin-song, and Kwon Ji-hyun = Confusion in the medical field is increasing as interns, residents, and other residents are collectively resigning in protest against the government’s expansion of medical schools.

In particular, as residents who are responsible for essential medical care leave the hospital, there are increasing cases of urgent surgeries such as cancer surgery, childbirth, and disc surgery being canceled or postponed. It looks like the ‘surgery crisis’ is becoming a reality.

According to the medical community on the 19th, all residents at the ‘Big 5’ hospitals, including Seoul National University, Severance, Samsung Seoul, Asan Seoul, and Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, submitted their resignations by this day and decided to stop working as of 6 a.m. on the 20th.

Among these, all residents in some medical departments, including the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescents at Severance Hospital, except for those in their fourth year of residency, submitted letters of resignation as of the morning of the day before.

Previously, a resident in the Department of Pediatrics and Adolescents at Severance publicly expressed his intention to resign and announced, “On the 19th, we will hand over resignation letters to all 1st to 3rd year pediatricians and go on strike at 7 a.m.”

Accordingly, Severance Hospital has already started internally adjusting the surgery schedule, assuming a ‘general strike of residents’.

As many residents, not only at Severance Hospital but also at other hospitals, have already expressed their intention to resign, schedule adjustments are considered inevitable.

An official at Asan Medical Center in Seoul said, “As of the morning of the 19th, residents are working normally, but as of the morning of the 20th, residents have announced group action and are adjusting treatment and surgery schedules to a minimum in consideration of severity and emergency by department.” .

This movement is spreading nationwide.

As of this morning, the chairman of the Daejeon Eulji Hospital Resident Council decided to collect and submit the resignation letters of 95 residents to the hospital around noon. All 189 residents at Chonbuk National University Hospital also decided to move in line with the trends of residents at the ‘Big 5’ hospitals.

Residents, who account for 30 to 40 percent of the medical staff at tertiary general hospitals, are responsible for important tasks at each hospital, such as assisting professors with surgeries and medical treatments and checking the conditions of hospitalized patients.

Collective action of majors, tomorrow will be a ‘watershed moment…’  Will the medical gap become a reality?

Collective action of majors, tomorrow will be a ‘watershed moment…’ Will the medical gap become a reality?

There are already a series of cases where surgery schedules have been adjusted at major hospitals in Seoul.

Severance Hospital announced on the 16th that it would like to discuss adjusting surgery schedules for each department in preparation for resident vacancies, and is not ruling out the possibility of reducing surgeries by more than half due to the absence of anesthesiology residents.

Anesthesiology residents assist the anesthesiology professor with anesthesia work during surgery and monitor the patient’s condition.

Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul Asan Medical Center, and Samsung Seoul Hospital are also discussing from various angles how to adjust surgeries and hospitalizations and how to deploy replacement personnel to prevent further confusion when mass resignation of residents becomes a reality.

Most hospitals believe that available manpower will be limited and are prioritizing emergency and critical surgeries.

Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital is also preparing to inform patients that surgery and hospitalization schedules may be adjusted depending on emergency and severity due to the collective resignation and general strike of residents.

As the mass resignation of medical residents becomes a reality, inquiries from patients are pouring in, asking, “Can I still undergo surgery?”

A cancer patient who was scheduled for surgery on the 21st at Big 5 Hospital posted on an online community of patients, “I didn’t receive a text message informing me of hospitalization, so I called and they told me to wait, saying they wouldn’t know for sure until Monday (19th).” “I heard that the surgery may be canceled, but I don’t know what to do.”

The story of a patient was also reported who was scheduled to give birth to twins by caesarean section at Seoul National University Hospital, but was notified of the postponement a day before the surgery.

There are also cases such as a guardian complaining that she is embarrassed that her parents’ long-awaited cervical disc surgery has been postponed indefinitely, and a pregnant woman who is about to go into labor and has been informed that painless injections during childbirth will not be possible.

Even the National Cancer Center, a medical institution under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, appears to be adjusting its surgery schedule as mass resignations of residents become visible.

Guardians are testifying that they scheduled surgery at the National Cancer Center for ovarian cancer, but it was postponed indefinitely, or that they were hospitalized ahead of the surgery but were discharged within a day because it was pushed back by a month.

However, the National Cancer Center announced that there were no cases in which surgery was officially postponed until the previous day.

As residents leave, not only are planned hospitalizations and surgeries delayed, but it is also difficult to care for patients who are already hospitalized.

According to the Health and Medical Workers’ Union, there are a growing number of cases in which tasks previously performed by medical residents, such as collecting blood, inserting urethral tubes, and verifying patients’ signatures on consent forms prior to surgery, are being entrusted to nurses.

It is known that some hospitals are recruiting ‘Physician Assistant (PA) nurses’.

Each hospital is most concerned about the situation where the gap between medical residents is prolonged.

Moreover, if ‘full-time doctors’, called clinical instructors, fellows, etc., join in, the situation may deteriorate into something unmanageable. Full-time doctors are doctors who remain at the hospital to learn their specific specialty after completing the residency program and obtaining a specialty.

soho@yna.co.kr

Report to KakaoTalk okjebo 2024/02/19 10:45 Sent

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