Health Ministry Issued License Suspension Notices to Defiant Trainee Doctors Amid Protests

Health Ministry Issued License Suspension Notices to Defiant Trainee Doctors Amid Protests

Key Points:

  • South Korean health ministry issued license suspension notices to 5,000 trainee doctors protesting against increased medical student quotas.
  • Approximately 93 percent of junior doctors across 100 teaching hospitals have left their worksites.
  • Military and public health doctors were deployed to address the medical staff shortage; nurses were granted additional responsibilities.
  • The government’s initiative to increase physician numbers aims to address shortages in rural areas and critical medical fields.

On Monday, the South Korean health ministry announced that it has issued prior license suspension notices to approximately 5,000 trainee doctors who have been protesting against a plan to increase the number of medical students. The move comes as part of the government’s efforts to resolve the ongoing healthcare crisis caused by the widespread departure of junior doctors from their workplaces.

Deputy Health Minister Jun Byung-wang stated that notices have been sent to 4,944 junior doctors who defied the order to return to work. Upon receiving the notices, these doctors must submit their opinions on potential punitive measures by March 25. The government has vowed to take legal action against those threatening colleagues or impeding doctors’ returns to hospitals.

The ministry is set to open a hotline on Tuesday to support physicians willing to return to work. Jun emphasized the government’s commitment to assisting trainee doctors in their return to hospitals, stating, “The government will spare no efforts to help trainee doctors wishing to return.”

As of Friday, around 93 percent of all junior doctors, totaling 11,994 individuals across 100 teaching hospitals, had left their worksites in protest against the plan to increase the number of medical students.
Health Minister Cho Kyoo-hong mentioned that lenient measures would be considered if trainee doctors return to work before administrative procedures to suspend their licenses are completed. Cho encouraged a prompt comeback, expressing the government’s willingness to extend leniency in such cases.

In response to the shortage of medical staff caused by the protests, the government initiated the deployment of 158 military and public health doctors to local hospitals for four weeks. Last week, the health ministry also granted nurses the authority to perform roles typically handled by doctors, including CPR.

The government’s push to increase the number of physicians aims to address shortages in rural areas and critical medical fields due to an aging population. However, doctors argue that such increases may compromise the quality of medical education and services, potentially leading to higher medical costs for patients. They emphasize addressing underpaid specialists and improving legal protections against excessive medical malpractice lawsuits as priority measures.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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