South Korean PM again appeals medical professors to stay with patients

In another conciliatory gesture, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo pleaded with medical professors

Seoul, April 27 (IANS) In another conciliatory gesture, South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo pleaded with medical professors on Friday to remain at their workplaces and with their patients, as they are considering taking weekly breaks in support of the ongoing walkout by junior doctors.

The country’s 13,000 trainee doctors have been on strike through mass resignations since February 20, protesting the government’s decision to significantly increase the medical school enrollment quota.

In solidarity with medical interns and residents, medical professors at major general hospitals nationwide have joined the movement, reports Yonhap news agency.

In an attempt to break the stalemate with the doctors, the government last week accepted a request from the chiefs of six national universities for flexibility in expanding the medical school enrollment quota.

“I earnestly implore the professors. Please continue to stand by the patients as you have done so far, and please persuade your students to return now,” Han said during a meeting with government officials.

Despite the government’s gesture, more professors have joined the move to offer resignations, even considering the potential suspension of all surgeries and treatments for outpatients once a week.

Han said the government and the people would listen more attentively to the voices of doctors and would accept them more seriously if they returned to hospitals.

According to the decision, 32 universities will be permitted to increase their admission quotas freely, with the annual increase ranging between 50 per cent and 100 per cent, starting in 2025, a turnaround from the previous decision to add 2,000 more medical school admissions in total.

–IANS

na/uk

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