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South Korean doctors rally against gov't medical school expansion plan




South Korean doctors rally against gov't medical school expansion plan

2024-06-18 23:19 Last Updated At:06-19 02:17

South Korea's largest lobby group for doctors held a one-day walkout Tuesday as part of a protracted strike against the government's plan to boost medical school admissions.

Thousands of medical practitioners from the Korean Medical Association gathered in Seoul, protesting against government plans to increase annual medical school admissions and potentially penalize hospital interns who have been on strike since February.

"The government should respect trainee doctors and all doctors in this land as life-saving experts, not slaves, and listen to their voices," said Lim Hyun-taek, president of the Korean Medical Association, to the crowd.

The government says more doctors need to be trained to deal with a dire shortage of practitioners, especially in rural areas.

The Korean Medical Association says the move will lead to lower pay and reduced training standards.

"We have gathered here against the government who are manipulating the medical system. We have gathered here to express our anger and show our unified will to all Koreans living and breathing in this land," Kim Kyung-ho, director of the Korean Medical Association.

However, there is growing division amongst the medical community.

Obstetricians, pediatricians, specialists in epilepsy and even a major hospital workers union have refused to join the walkouts. But that doesn't mean South Korea's healthcare crisis will end soon.

"If the government does not show the right attitude, the situation for medical resident doctors could go on for more than a year," said Chae Dong-young, deputy spokesman of the association.

South Korean officials have issued return-to-work orders for doctors participating in the one-day walkout.

Since February, thousands of South Korean trainee doctors have been on strike in a deepening standoff with the government, which plans to significantly increase the country's number of doctors by 2035. Many reject the plan, saying that schools will not be able to handle the increased flow and that the quality of the country's medical services would suffer.

South Korean doctors rally against gov't medical school expansion plan

South Korean doctors rally against gov't medical school expansion plan

Open and sincere dialogue not only promotes the development of economic trade but also provides greater security guarantee for the international community, said former Slovenian President Borut Pahor.

The third plenary session of the 20th CPC Central Committee was held in Beijing from Monday to Thursday with the adoption of a resolution which aims at deepening reform comprehensively to advance Chinese modernization.

In an interview with China Global Television Network (CGTN), former Slovenian President Borut Pahor highlighted the resolution's importance and its potential influence on China's development. And also he praised the achievements China has made in the fields of reform and opening up, as well as modernization in recent years.

"In my mind, talking about 2035 as some sort of benchmark is very significant because it tells you about the horizon of expectations, not just about the President Xi and his party, but also of the expectations of the country. So the plenum has, in a way, built the road how to go on in the next 10 years basically to be then in 2035 modern society in all terms of the word. So we can see from the conclusions of the plenum that China is committed to a development," he said.

In the interview, he emphasized that there is interdependence between China and the European Union, and international issues currently faced should be resolved through dialogue.

"They are significantly interdependent, both China and the European Union, mainly in the fields of trade, investment, and technology. So I think it is in the best interest of both partners, China and the European Union, to go on with this collaboration. Let me be very frank with you. In this very moment, there are some problems, let us say so, between China and the United States, between China and the European Union. It is a challenging time now, but I think I'm an advocate of this. I think this should be overcome with a dialogue on both sides, with an open and sincere dialogue. This will make the international community much more safe, not just for the economic benefit of the West and China, of the European Union and China. This next level of confidence will make the world more safe, more secure," he said.

From his perspective, he asserted that China has seen transformative and comprehensive change, expanding opening up to a higher level.

"It's not just a huge country with a huge population. It is a modern society, much more than it has been 30 years ago, much more than it has been 15 years ago. The dynamic of development is just amazing. It's not just in technology, it's also in the people. You can see, you can feel when talking to the people how China is progressing," he said.

CPC plenary session charts course for global common good in long run: former Slovenian president

CPC plenary session charts course for global common good in long run: former Slovenian president

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