April 22, 2024

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Healthcare Crisis in South Korea: 12000 Medical Personnel Leave Positions

Healthcare Crisis in South Korea: 12000 Medical Personnel Leave Positions



Healthcare Crisis in South Korea: 12000 Medical Personnel Leave Positions

12,000 Interns and Resident Doctors Leave Positions, Professors at Seoul National University Medical School May Resign Collectively

On March 12, the Association of Professors at South Korean Medical Schools issued a statement stating that if interns, resident doctors, and medical students suffer losses, the professors will vigorously pursue the government’s responsibility and take action to resolve the issue.

The Emergency Response Committee of the Seoul National University Medical School Professors’ Association decided on March 11 that if the government fails to come up with a solution, the professors will begin submitting resignation letters starting from the 18th. The Association of Professors at South Korean Medical Schools stated in the declaration that more and more professors are voluntarily resigning, which will lead to the collapse of South Korea’s healthcare and medical education. To address the current issues, the government should engage in unconditional dialogue with the medical community. However, the government has so far insisted on dialogue with preconditions and has taken administrative measures against the collective resignation of interns and resident doctors, depriving them of the opportunity to return to hospitals.

Furthermore, the government’s decision has led to a situation where medical school students are collectively taking leaves of absence. If this leads to students collectively repeating a year, it will cause the collapse of the medical school education system. If interns and resident doctors leave the frontlines of healthcare, and medical school students leave the classrooms, the professors at medical schools will no longer have an educational mission.

Healthcare Crisis in South Korea: 12000 Medical Personnel Leave Positions

screenshot from youTube

The Association of Professors at South Korean Medical Schools consists of professors from 33 medical schools in South Korea. There are a total of 40 medical schools in South Korea.

In addition, representatives of interns, resident doctors, medical school students, and candidates filed a collective lawsuit against the South Korean government on the 12th, demanding the “cancellation of the decision to expand medical school admissions by 2,000 students.” Park Dan, the Chief Strategy Officer of the Korean Intern and Resident Physicians Association, and representatives of doctors, professors, and medical students filed an administrative lawsuit against the Minister of Education, Lee Joo-ho, and the Minister of Health and Welfare, Cho Gyu-hong, demanding the cancellation of the relevant decisions. The legal representative of the Korean Intern and Resident Physicians Association stated, “It is impossible to change the university admission plan and entrance exam guidelines under the Higher Education Act. The plan announced by the government is an act of deception against the people.”

On the 12th, local time, Cho Gyu-hong, the Minister of Health and Welfare of South Korea, expressed concern about the possible collective resignation of professors at Seoul National University Medical School while presiding over the “Central Disaster Safety Measures Headquarters Meeting in Response to Collective Actions by Doctors.” Cho Gyu-hong stated that the government will do its utmost to maintain the emergency medical system and engage in dialogue with doctors to listen to the opinions of professors.

Cho Gyu-hong also reported that as of the 11th, the Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea had sent pre-notification letters to 5,556 interns and resident doctors who had left their positions, notifying them of the revocation of their medical licenses, and stated that “the principle of holding the government accountable for wrongful actions has not changed.”

Cho Gyu-hong said that in order to minimize the prolonged medical vacuum caused by the collective resignation of doctors, the government will mobilize all available resources to provide support. Starting from the 15th, patients with mild symptoms and non-emergency cases will be classified to ensure that regional emergency centers can focus on treating severe cases.

According to the South Korean government and the local medical community, as of the 8th, the Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea had sent pre-notification letters to 4,944 interns and resident doctors who had left their positions, notifying them of the revocation of their medical licenses.

Data from the Ministry of Health and Welfare of South Korea shows that as of 11 a.m. on the 8th, 11,994 interns and resident doctors had left their positions at 100 large comprehensive hospitals in South Korea, with a departure rate of 92.9%. The department will send pre-notification letters to the departed doctors in sequence and then listen to their opinions on the administrative penalties.

In addition, to help interns and resident doctors return to work smoothly, the South Korean government will operate a “Protection Declaration Center” starting from the 12th.

Recently, officials from Samsung Seoul Hospital stated that as interns and resident doctors collectively resign and leave their positions, about half of the hospital’s attending physicians have also left. Currently, surgeries have decreased by more than 50%, and bed occupancy rates are only at 60% to 70%.

Due to reasons such as reduced surgeries and fewer inpatients, Seoul National University Hospital is scaling down the operations of some wards, including the short-term cancer ward. Officials from Seoul National University Hospital stated that in order to improve the hospital’s operational efficiency, the hospital is discussing reallocating existing manpower to areas where it is most needed.

Busan University Hospital has been downsizing and merging some departments since the end of February. Officials from Busan University Hospital stated that the hospital was supposed to hire 27 interns and resident doctors, but 22 of them declined the offer, leaving only 5 people working. All 56 interns who were supposed to join also declined the offer, and the number of inpatients has also decreased by about 50%. Major university hospitals have stated that if the number of patients continues to decrease, hospital losses will be inevitable.

Healthcare Crisis in South Korea: 12000 Medical Personnel Leave Positions

(source:internet, reference only)


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