South Korea issued an `ultimatum` to striking doctors

South Korea issued an `ultimatum` to striking doctors 0

(Dan Tri) – The Korean Ministry of Health warned that it will revoke the licenses of trainee doctors participating in the strike next month if they do not return to work before February 29.

South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo (second from left) met with doctors at the National Police Hospital in Seoul on February 21 amid strikes (Photo: Yonhap).

The Korean government today announced that it will not prosecute doctors participating in the strike if they accept to return to work before the end of this month.

On the other hand, speaking to the press, Korean Deputy Minister of Health Park Min-soo warned that striking intern doctors who refuse to return to work before February 29 may face immediate punishment.

`Starting in March, striking doctors who refuse to return to work according to the law may have their licenses suspended for a minimum of 3 months and face legal actions such as investigation and prosecution,` Thu.

This official added that having the license revoked could affect the doctor’s future career, such as the opportunity to work abroad.

On the other hand, he said, the government will continue to make efforts to dialogue with the medical community.

Doctor strikes across South Korea broke out earlier this month after the government announced it would add 2,000 places to the annual quota for medical students, up from the current 3,000.

The plan is part of the Korean government’s efforts to address the shortage of doctors, especially in rural areas and essential medical fields, such as high-risk surgery, pediatrics,

However, doctors say this does not solve the problem of manpower shortages, which are limited to specific specialties such as emergency resuscitation, where wages are low and working conditions are miserable.

Doctors also say the government should focus on protecting them from malpractice lawsuits and improving compensation to encourage more doctors to practice in underserved areas.

To date, more than 10,000 other people have also submitted resignation letters, of which 9,000 have quit.

South Korean Interior Minister Lee Sang-min called on trainee doctors to return to work because the strike caused panic, disruption at hospitals and threats to the health of patients.

Professors at Seoul National University School of Medicine also urged the government and the medical community to dialogue to resolve the situation.

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