South Korea adopts a more lenient stance on the decision to raise medical quotas

Government Open to Altering Medical School Admission Policy in Response to Strike by Intern Doctors

On April 3, during a government response meeting, Interior Minister Lee Sang-min announced that the Korean government is open to altering its medical school admission policy if a better proposal is presented. The minister emphasized the importance of health reform and highlighted necessary measures to safeguard people’s health and lives. He also called on intern doctors to return to work, assuring them that their concerns will be taken seriously while they continue to care for patients.

Amid ongoing conflicts with the medical community, Lee acknowledged the impact of the strike by more than 90% of the country’s 13,000 intern doctors. Major hospitals have reduced services, with surgeries, outpatient appointments, and emergency procedures being postponed. Despite this, the government remains open to negotiation with doctors to find a unified and reasonable solution.

The decision to increase medical school enrollment quotas by 2,000 students was made to address the challenges posed by an aging population and a shortage of medical professionals in essential fields. However, protesting doctors argue that this move will compromise the quality of education and medical services, leading to a surplus of doctors.

As negotiations between the government and doctors continue, medical professors and senior doctors have announced collective resignation and reduced hours to show solidarity with their students. They believe that increasing remuneration and bonuses for doctors would be a more effective way to address the challenges faced by medical professionals.

The situation remains tense as access to healthcare services is affected by disruptions in service provision at university hospitals and private clinics. It is clear that finding a resolution to the conflict between the government and medical professionals is crucial to ensuring effective functioning of the Korean healthcare system.

Minister Lee highlighted his willingness for alternative opinions with strong rationale in order improve decisions related

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