The Korea Herald


Over 700 civilians visit military hospitals amid doctors' walkout

By Yonhap

Published : April 21, 2024 - 11:29

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The Armed Forces Capital Hospital in Seongnam (Yonhap) The Armed Forces Capital Hospital in Seongnam (Yonhap)

Military hospitals nationwide have treated more than 700 civilians since opening their doors to the public at a full scale in mid-February, the defense ministry said Sunday, amid the protracted walkout by trainee doctors.

Military hospital emergency rooms became fully accessible to civilians to help address concerns of health care disruptions after thousands of trainee doctors began the walkout on Feb. 19 in protest of a government plan to sharply increase medical school seats next year.

As of Friday, 768 patients have visited military hospitals nationwide since the walkout began, with 397 of them being treated at the Armed Forces Capital Hospital in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, according to the ministry.

It said 138 patients received surgery or were hospitalized, with 66 of them receiving emergency surgery, including a woman in her 70s in a bicycle accident on April 3.

During a visit to the Armed Forces Capital Hospital on Thursday, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said the government would take measures so that severe trauma patients could be sent to military hospitals, noting their expertise in such treatment. (Yonhap)