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The difference in position is clearly revealed from the judgment of whether there is a shortage of doctors.

Pros: “There is no shortage of doctors, but are residents working more than 80 hours a week?”

The opposing side said, “The population is decreasing, so even if we maintain the number of medical schools, the relative number of doctors will increase significantly.”

“If we increase the number of medical schools, we will see the crowding out” vs. “We are increasing the number of students to solve the overcrowding phenomenon.”

“Doctors are intimidated and their freedom to choose their profession is restricted” vs. “Endangering patients is truly intimidating.”

patient waiting for treatment

patient waiting for treatment

(Seoul = Larose.VIP) Reporter Kim Jan-di and Seo Hye-rim = The government and the medical community, which are at loggerheads over increasing the number of medical school admissions, are revealing a stark difference in perception, starting with the reality of whether there are a shortage of doctors.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare argued that it could no longer delay the increase in medical schools as demand for medical care rapidly increases due to the aging population, while the medical community failed to reach a common ground, saying that there may be a surplus of doctors as the population decreases due to low birth rates.

According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the medical community on the 21st, the two sides only confirmed this difference in position during MBC’s ‘100 Minute Debate’ the previous day.

Currently, medical groups such as the Korean Medical Association are strongly opposing the government’s announcement that it will increase the number of medical school students by 2,000 for the 2025 school year. The residents collectively submitted their resignations in protest against the government policy and stopped working.

In the TV debate, those in favor were Yoo Jeong-min, head of the strategic team at the Central Accident Response Headquarters of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and Professor Kim Yoon of the Department of Medical Management at Seoul National University College of Medicine, while those on the opposing side included Lee Dong-wook, president of the Gyeonggi Province Medical Association, and Jeong Jae-hoon, professor of preventive medicine at Gachon University School of Medicine.

◇ Is there a shortage of doctors? Salaries are soaring due to lack of supply, and majors are working 80 hours a week.

The government’s message is clear. There is a shortage of doctors.

According to ‘Health and Medical Care 2023 at a Glance’ released by the OECD last year, the number of doctors per 1,000 people in Korea is 2.6, which is lower than the OECD average of 3.7.

Team Leader Yoo said, “It is diagnosed that there will be a shortage of doctors now and in the future,” adding, “There are already cases where (patients) are not receiving treatment on time due to gaps in local medical care and essential medical care, and despite the rapid increase in medical demand due to the rapidly aging population.” “We have to be prepared,” he said.

In particular, it was believed that appropriate distribution became difficult due to the lack of absolute numbers.

Team Leader Yoo said, “There is an absolute shortage in the number of (doctors), and because of this, it is difficult to find doctors, and all these personnel are concentrated in the metropolitan area,” and added, “The problem of the shortage of doctors is worsening the (doctor manpower) distribution problem.” did.

Professor Kim believes that it is a well-known fact that there is a shortage of doctors, considering various situations such as rising salaries due to the inability to find doctors at local general hospitals, excessive working hours for residents, and the increase in medical assistants (PAs) who replace doctors’ work.

He said, “The annual salary of general hospital workers, which was about 200 million won in 2019, has recently risen to 300 to 400 million won,” adding, “This is because of a lack of supply.”

He continued, “There is no shortage of doctors at university hospitals, so why do residents work 80 hours? If you calculate the number of doctors lacking in small and medium-sized cities or medically underserved areas, it is 20,000. It falls short of the level necessary to ensure sufficient quality and accessibility of medical care. “It is a situation that is happening,” he emphasized.

What is the impact of the group action of doctors that has surfaced on emergency medicine?

What is the impact of the group action of doctors that has surfaced on emergency medicine?

◇ “Severely low birth rate… Even if medical school admissions are frozen, there will be a surplus of doctors in the future.”

Those who are opposed to increasing the number of medical schools emphasized that it should be taken into consideration population changes due to low birth rates, the number of times people use outpatient clinics, and high accessibility to medical care.

Chairman Lee said, “The number of births is decreasing, so even if we leave the medical school quota the same, (the relative number of doctors) is bound to increase further in the future,” and added, “Furthermore, we need to look at the number of times our people use medical care and their accessibility.”

He said, “Our people are using medical care 2.5 times the average of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),” and “Is it okay to increase the number of doctors in a situation where there is already an oversupply compared to other countries (in terms of the number of times medical care is used)? “He asked back.

At the same time, he said, “It is a problem of the working environment, and it is a problem that university hospitals are lined up and local hospitals are empty.” He argued, “The problem of reallocating patients and doctors is not an urgent priority, and increasing the number of medical schools is not an urgent priority.”

Professor Jeong noted that patients are enjoying sufficient medical services.

Professor Jeong countered by saying, “It is difficult to give a definitive answer now as to whether there is a shortage of doctors. Both life expectancy and accessibility to medical care are quite high in our country, but if there is a shortage of doctors, will these results be maintained?” .

◇ Increase of 2,000 personnel “It’s like seeing the concentration of medical schools” VS “We are increasing the number of personnel to solve the concentration phenomenon”

Those who are opposed to increasing the number of medical schools point out that if the number of students suddenly increases by 2,000, medical schools could suck up all the talent in science and engineering.

Those in favor are countering that the expansion of medical schools should be promoted to resolve the ‘concentration phenomenon’.

Professor Jeong eloquently stated, “The ‘medical school black hole’ phenomenon, in which all truly excellent talents in our country apply to medical school, could become more serious.”

On the other hand, Professor Kim refuted that increasing the number of medical schools would be the solution to alleviating the concentration phenomenon.

He said, “The fundamental reason for the concentration of medical schools is that doctors’ income is overwhelmingly higher than that of other professions. In Korea, if you graduate from medical school, complete your residency, and return from military service, you will be around 35 years old. The annual salary of a specialist is 300 million to 400 million won.” “Hundreds of millions of won,” he said.

“The way to solve the problem is to lower doctors’ income to an appropriate level,” he said. “Lowering doctors’ income by increasing the number of medical schools is a fundamental way to solve the concentration of medical schools in science and engineering.”

Second day of collective action by majors...  patients and medical staff

Second day of collective action by majors… patients and medical staff

◇ Those in favor also said, “Increasing the number of medical schools alone is not the solution”… Opposition side: “Since the relationship has changed, let’s start by strengthening essential medical care.”

Professor Kim made it clear that all problems cannot be solved by simply increasing the number of medical schools. This means that mechanisms must be put in place to ensure that doctors are distributed appropriately and fair compensation must be provided.

He said, “The government’s essential medical policy includes provisions such as hiring more doctors at general hospitals and university hospitals, raising fees mainly for severe cases, and establishing a cooperation system between regional and university hospitals.” He added, “The plan that has been made now. “If we develop it more elaborately, we will be able to solve the problem we are facing,” he said.

Team leader Yoo, who is on the government side, also said, “We never said we would only increase the number of doctors,” and added, “We have policies to create hospitals with the so-called ‘Big 5’ capabilities in the region and ensure good human resource allocation, and policies to resolve imbalances in regional and essential medical fields.” “We will pursue it together,” he said.

Those who are opposed to increasing the number of personnel are of the position that improvement in the medical system must come first.

Professor Jeong said, “If the current medical system is increased without any changes or discussion of essential medical policies, 2,000 of the best human resources in science and engineering will move to the medical field.” “It is also unclear. The national damage due to concentration of medical schools could also be greater,” he argued.

He emphasized, “In the end, the precedence relationship has changed.” In other words, prior to increasing the number of medical schools, improvements in the medical system, such as policies to strengthen essential medical services, must take precedence.

“The controversy over increasing the number of medical schools is eating up all other policy discussions,” he said. “Doctors and the government seem to be in conflict now, but they need to cooperate in the long term, but I am concerned about whether they can discuss ways to develop essential medical care in the current policy conflict situation.” “It’s amazing,” he added.

◇ Parallel lines continue… “It’s scary to endanger patients” vs “Doctors’ freedom to choose their profession must be respected”

The Ministry of Health and Welfare and the medical community continued to make harsh remarks toward each other on this day.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare did not hide its displeasure with the medical community raising its voice, saying, ‘Do not intimidate doctors with various business start orders.’

Second Vice Minister Park Min-soo said at the briefing that day, “Expressing opinions and things like this must be done within the bounds of the law,” and then asked, “Shouldn’t we do this with real people’s lives, regardless of the law?”

He repeatedly asked, “Do you think it’s okay for doctors to do things with people’s lives, but do you say it’s intimidation for the government to issue orders?” He then added, “The government just enforces the law, but they call this intimidation and doctors leave the field and endanger patients.” “Isn’t that a threat worth a billion times more?” he said.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare emphasized that any form of conversation is possible and that people should return to work immediately.

The Emergency Response Committee of the Korean Medical Association also strongly criticized the government.

Joo Su-ho, head of the National Emergency Committee’s public relations committee, said at the emergency committee briefing that day, “The government’s suppression of medical doctors’ basic rights is spreading to the point of losing reason,” and criticized, “Doctors did not know that the Republic of Korea is a dictatorship capable of excessive application of laws and abuse.”

Chairman Joo said, “The Ministry of Health and Welfare defined the resignation of residents as a collective action and issued an order to resume work for 6,112 residents to punish them.” He added, “The people’s right to life is naturally precious, but the freedom of doctors to choose their profession is also important.” “It should be respected as a fundamental right of the people,” he said.

jandi@yna.co.kr

Report to KakaoTalk okjebo 2024/02/21 20:50 Sent

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