The Ministry of Health has asked the police to look into an online post by a doctor in which he claimed to have received sexual favors from a pharmaceutical company employee.
The post was published on a website accessible only to certified public health doctors. Public health doctors are doctors working at state-run medical facilities as an alternative to military service.
In the post, the writer admitted to having received sexual services from a pharmaceutical company saleswoman in exchange for a rebate.
Other doctors on the website left comments indicating they had shared a video footage of the alleged sex act via e-mails. In related threads, the doctors also exchanged information about brothels.
The Health Ministry requested a police investigation June 20, three days after the case was reported to a ministry department.
Addressing the ensuing criticism, the Korean Association of Public Health Doctors released a statement Wednesday denying connection to the website in question.
“The website is operated separately from our association,” the statement read, while adding that the post seemed to have been published in 2011. In the statement, the association also apologized “on behalf of all public health doctors” and pledged “to promote ethical awareness” among its some 2,000 members.
“If the offense, on conviction, carries a sentence of jail time or above, the doctor’s license is subject to revocation,” Sohn Ho-jun, the head of the Health Ministry’s medical resources department, which handles violations of the law by medical practitioners, told The Korea Herald.
But if the suspected breach took place more than five years ago, Sohn added, the statute of limitations has expired and punishment is not feasible.
In a Twitter announcement published Wednesday morning, the online public health doctors’ community denied having provided a platform for illicit activities and said “the media reports about medical law violations (posted on the website) are false.”
By Kim Arin (firstname.lastname@example.org)