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Health minister vows to accomplish medical reform

By Yonhap

Published : April 1, 2024 - 10:22

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Medical personnel are seen at a large hospital in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap) Medical personnel are seen at a large hospital in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)

Health Minister Cho Kyoo-hong said Monday the government will accomplish medical reform, despite a prolonged walkout by junior doctors that have crippled public health services at major hospitals for nearly six weeks.

"The government will accomplish medical reform by only looking at the people," Cho told a government response meeting, repeating his appeal for junior doctors to return to work.

Cho urged "medical professors to withdraw their collective resignations and trainee doctors to return to hospitals."

Cho's remarks came as President Yoon Suk Yeol plans to address the nation later in the day on the government's push for medical reform, amid keen attention to whether he may show a flexible attitude toward the state plan to boost the medical school enrollment quota by 2,000 seats.

About 12,000 trainee doctors have been on strike in the form of mass resignations since Feb. 20, with medical professors having submitted resignations in support of the walkout.

Concerns have heightened that the prolonged walkout could further disrupt medical services as medical professors and community doctors are set to reduce their working hours starting this week. (Yonhap)