South Korea adopts more conciliatory stance on decision to raise medical quotas

In an effort to address the ongoing conflict with the medical community, the Korean Minister of Internal Affairs announced that the government is open to changing its medical school admission policy if a better proposal is presented. Interior Minister Lee Sang-min made this statement during a government response meeting on April 3rd, emphasizing that government policies are always subject to change if stronger opinions with solid reasoning are provided.

Amidst ongoing tensions with the medical community, Lee urged interns to return to work and assured them that their opinions will be taken seriously as they continue to care for patients. Many major hospitals in South Korea have scaled back surgeries and services due to the majority of intern doctors resigning in protest since February of the previous year.

While there are no clear indications of the government reversing its decision to increase medical school enrollment targets, it remains open to negotiating with doctors to find a solution that is united and reasonable. The strike by intern doctors has had a significant impact on the healthcare system in Korea, with medical professors at university hospitals reducing their hours and some tertiary hospitals limiting services due to staffing shortages.

More than 90% of intern doctors have been on strike since February 20th, protesting the government’s plan to increase medical school admission quotas by 2,000. This initiative aims to address the aging population and increase the number of healthcare professionals in vital fields. However, striking doctors argue that this move will compromise the quality of education and medical services, leading to an oversupply of doctors. They suggest that officials should focus on increasing compensation and rewards for doctors to ensure their security in the industry.

The ongoing dispute between the government and the medical community highlights the challenges faced by

By Samantha Johnson

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