Medical professors on Monday joined a strike against health reform in South Korea

On Monday, faculty members at medical schools in South Korea were called to join the strike by trainee doctors for more than a month in protest against health reform promoted by the South Korean government. Teachers will also gradually reduce working hours in hospitals. In an initial pressure measure, they will reduce their weekly working hours to 52, which will affect the scheduling of surgeries and other medical treatments, the National Council of Medical College Professors said and reported by South Korean news agency Yonhap. . In addition, starting April 1, outpatient medical services will be “reduced” to focus on caring for the most serious and urgent cases. A spokesperson for the organization explained, “Our decision to resign and reduce outpatient care seeks to ensure the safe treatment of inpatients and serious cases.” He added: “Even after our resignation, we will continue to do our work in treating patients until our resignations are accepted.” Health Minister Cho Kyu-hung has expressed concern about the announcements and asked teachers to be “with the sick.” “The government will strengthen the emergency medical response system to reduce the effects of the strike,” he said after holding a meeting to discuss the issue on Sunday. More than 90 percent of the country's 13,000 resident doctors have resigned from their positions in protest against the government's plan to increase the number of medical training places from the current 3,000 to 5,000 for the next academic year. Doctors believe that the proposal represents an unbearable burden, given that universities that do not have the capacity to bear an increase do not, in their view, solve the problem of the lack of incentives for lower-paying specialties, such as pediatrics, or to cover places in more distant destinations. In addition, they say authorities should focus on protecting them from malpractice lawsuits. Authorities issued orders to return to work, citing serious risks to public health. Those who do not comply could be punished by having their medical license revoked for up to one year and up to three years in prison, in addition to fines of 30 million won (about 20,800 euros). In addition, they have mobilized 413 military doctors and can use retired doctors.

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