South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare expressed regret over the decision of medical professors to take one day off a week starting next week, urging them to engage in dialogue rather than resort to collective action in amid the prolonged medical vacuum in the country.

An emergency committee of medical professors vowed to start taking a weekly one-day break, saying their fatigue had peaked amid a prolonged strike by trainee doctors.

“The Government regrets the decision of medical professors to take one day off a week while continuing with their promise to resign as planned,” Second Vice Minister of Health Park Min-soo announced to reporters.

Debates in the medical sector: admission quotas and crisis in South Korea

What is happening in South Korea?

Some 12,000 trainee doctors have walked out of their workplaces since February 20 in protest at the Government’s plan to increase the number of medical students, forcing major hospitals to delay or cancel surgeries and other health services. public.

In support of the trainee doctors’ strike, medical professors also submitted their resignations last month.

Park urged medical professors to come to the negotiating table with a rational and unified proposal, emphasizing that the government has made efforts, including accepting a request from the presidents of national universities to make the enrollment quota in medical schools more flexible. medicine.

Under the decision announced last week, which is largely seen as a compromise, universities will be free to decide to increase their places at a level of 50 to 100 percent of what is allocated by the Government for next year.

The second deputy minister added that the Government is open to holding individual conversations with the medical community, including the emergency committee of medical teachers, and will continue to make efforts to achieve communication.

While some teachers vowed to begin leaving their positions starting Thursday, a month after submitting their resignation letters in a class action, Park reiterated that the resignations will not be processed automatically. The deputy minister explained that, according to educational authorities, there have been no cases in which resignation letters have been officially submitted to universities for processing.


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