Jeju hospital gives up license fight

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Jeju hospital gives up license fight

Korea’s first for-profit hospital will give up attempting to operate the medical center after the Jeju provincial government nullified its business license earlier this month.

The Greenland International Medical Center on Jeju Island sent a letter to its 50 employees Friday, notifying them of its plan to dismiss them. The hospital is owned by the Greenland Group, a Shanghai-based real estate developer.

“We cannot employ you anymore as we have to close our business,” the hospital said in the letter sent in the name of the center’s chief. “We will discuss matters on the dismissal set under related laws with the representative of the workers.”

About 50 medical workers, including nurses, had been employed at the hospital for up to two years, although it was not open during that time. The medical center had employed nine doctors to take charge of plastic surgery, dermatology, internal medicine and family medicine departments, but all of them quit as the opening day was delayed for more than a year.

The provincial government pulled the hospital’s business license on April 17 as the owner failed to meet the deadline for opening. Approval was originally granted on the condition that the hospital only treat foreign patients.

The Jeju government granted conditional approval to the Greenland International Medical Center on Dec. 5 and mandated the hospital to open March 4. According to the Medical Service Act of Korea, a medical institution needs to begin operations within 90 days of receiving a business license.

The Greenland Group strongly opposed the conditions of the approval, filing a lawsuit with the Jeju District Court.

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