South Korea to withdraw plan to suspend licenses of striking doctors

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Health Minister Cho Kyo-hong said on Monday that the government has decided not to suspend the licenses of the striking doctors regardless of whether they return to work at their hospitals. He said the government’s decision is aimed at tackling the shortage of doctors treating emergency and critically ill patients.

Seoul: South Korea said on Monday it will withdraw its earlier plan to suspend the licenses of striking doctors, ending the country’s long-running deadlock with doctors. It was not yet clear how many of the thousands of striking doctors would return to work after the government’s announcement. Health Minister Cho Kyo-hong said on Monday that the government has decided not to suspend the licenses of the striking doctors regardless of whether they return to work at their hospitals or not. He said the government’s decision was aimed at dealing with the shortage of doctors treating emergencies and critically ill patients.

More than 13,000 junior doctors working as medical interns and residents have been on strike since February in protest against the government’s plan to increase admissions to medical colleges. Their strike has greatly affected the functioning of hospitals. Their strike suffered a setback when a Seoul court ruled in favor of the government’s plan in May. The government later withdrew its plan to suspend the licenses of doctors who returned to work in its hospitals but did not take any such action for doctors who did not return to work.

Officials say the government wants to recruit 10,000 doctors by 2035 to tackle the country’s rapidly aging population and a shortage of doctors in rural areas. Doctors say medical colleges are not equipped to handle the surge in students and it will eventually strain the country’s medical services. But critics say doctors, one of the highest-paid professions in South Korea, are mainly worried that the arrival of more doctors will reduce their income.

Disclaimer: CricketInFocus has not edited this news. This news has been published from PTI-language feed.



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