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Doctors protest against expanding places in medical courses

The South Korean government issued a return-to-work order for private doctors on Tuesday, as more doctors, including medical professors, join the months-long strike to protest rising hospital admissions. medical schools.

The government will strictly enforce regulations against medical institutions that have closed illegally, the Ministry of Health said in a statement.

About 4% of the roughly 36,000 private clinics notified the government of closure plans on Tuesday to take part in the protest, Health Minister Cho Kyoo-hong said.

But some 5,379 medical institutions were closed across the country, or 14.9% of the 36,059 institutions that were checked, as of 4pm local time, the Health Ministry confirmed.

President Yoon Suk Yeol said the doctors’ strike was “regrettable and disappointing.”

“(The government) has no choice but to deal severely with illegal acts that neglect patients,” Yoon said during a cabinet meeting, while offering to work together if doctors return to work.

Under the law, doctors who defy the return-to-work order could face suspension of their licenses or other legal repercussions.

The government had previously issued a return-to-work order to striking trainee doctors, before withdrawing it earlier this month as a nod to the category.

The Korea Medical Association, critical of the government’s reforms, led Tuesday’s strike. The group also organized a protest in Seoul on the same day, calling for reconsideration of the increase in medical school admissions.

“The government should respect… all doctors on this earth as experts in saving lives, not as slaves, and listen to their voices,” said association president Lim Hyun-taek.

At least around 10,000 people attended the protest, according to a Reuters witness, with demonstrators wearing a makeshift hat saying: “Avoid medical collapse.”

According to a survey by a local researcher last week, nearly eight in ten South Koreans oppose the doctors’ strike.

Some doctors and healthcare professionals have also openly criticized the class action in response to government pressure for an increase in medical school admissions to address the country’s doctor shortage.

Others have argued that increasing the number of doctors alone will do little to bolster essential services and rural areas face a growing shortage of doctors.

More than half of medical professors at Seoul National University hospitals went on an indefinite strike on Monday, Yonhap news agency reported.

Source: CNN Brasil

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