While thousands of trainee doctors returned to work at major general hospitals Tuesday — 19 days after walking out in protest of government medical reform plans — others are opting to continue their strike.
As the ruling Democratic Party (DP) signaled a willingness to head back to the drawing board with its medical reform plans, anticipation is growing that the government and doctors may finally reach a compromise to end the trainee doctors’ strike.
The government stressed Tuesday that it already unconditionally suspended plans to expand the medical school admissions in an attempt to coax striking trainee doctors to return to their jobs.
The government announced Monday it will postpone the state-run medical licensing exam by one week, as medical students plan to boycott the test amid nationwide strikes by trainee doctors.
Hundreds of doctors in training remained on strike despite the Health Ministry’s threat to take criminal action against them.
The Korean government on Wednesday ordered doctors on a nationwide strike to return to work, saying they must maintain their posts as the number of coronavirus cases trend upward.
A nationwide doctors' strike is expected to take place next week as planned after the government and the Korea Medical Association (KMA) were unable to reach a consensus on a proposal to increase medical students' admissions quota.
President Moon Jae-in instructed authorities Friday to reconsider an announced plan to transfer control of a state-run research institute to the Health Ministry from the current top disease control body in the nation.
The government announced Wednesday it will upgrade the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) to an independent administration, a move aimed at strengthening the country’s comprehensive response to infectious diseases.
Korea was named Tuesday as a member of the executive board of the World Health Organization (WHO), which will allow it to play a leading role in resolving global health challenges including the Covid-19 pandemic.