Gyeonggi Province said in a statement that surveillance cameras will be installed inside surgery rooms at the Gyeonggi Provincial Medical Center Ansung Hospital on Oct. 1. It will mark the first time that surveillance cameras are being placed inside operating rooms at a public medical institute in Korea.
The statement confirmed Gyeonggi Provincial Gov. Lee Jae-myung’s disclosure of the plan the previous day in a Facebook post. Lee had also promised that personal information of all patients would be protected.
“Patients have often expressed worries over what may happen inside operating rooms because they would be unconscious while under anesthesia, and the rooms are completely closed off from the outside,” his post read.
“Videos will be selectively recorded, only with the patient’s consent, according to the Personal Information Protection Act. We will hire a personal information protection manager to control patient’s private information.”
Lee added that an operation plan aimed at reducing the side effects of using surveillance cameras would be introduced.
The installation of surveillance cameras inside operating rooms will be expanded to Gyeonggi’s five other provincial hospitals starting next year, for which the provincial office plans to allocate 43.8 million won next year
The provincial office said it had reached an agreement with the provincial hospitals and its labor unions on Thursday.
Most hospitals have surveillance cameras in emergency rooms to monitor potentially violent situations and medical accidents. However, their placement inside operating theaters have often been thwarted due to strong opposition from the medical community.
Seven people, including a doctor, nurses and a medical salesman, were arrested in Busan on Sept. 7 after a patient suffered brain death when a medical salesman illegally conducted a surgery on behalf of the doctor.
The medical misconduct was confirmed by footage from surveillance cameras installed at the hospital lobby. Police forwarded the case to the prosecution on Sept. 7.
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org)