A medical staff walks by a set of gowns at a university hospital in Daegu, March 15. Yonhap

Health Minister Cho Kyoo-hong on Monday expressed grave concerns about a decision by medical professors to resign en masse in support of junior doctors’ walkout that has crippled medical services for nearly a month.About 90 percent of 13,000 interns and resident doctors have stayed off the job since late February in protest of the government’s decision to increase enrollment at medical schools by 2,000 spots from the current 3,058.With the labor action by junior doctors showing little signs of backing down, the emergency committee of medical professors announced Friday that faculty members from 16 medical schools will submit resignations en masse on March 25 in an effort to seek a breakthrough in the prolonged impasse.”Despite the people’s concerns and the government’s repeated appeals, we express grave concern over making such an announcement,” Cho told a government response meeting.

“The people will find it difficult to comprehend their claim that they will leave patients en masse in order to seek dialogue and compromise,” he added. The health minister urged professors to focus their efforts on persuading medical students and junior doctors to return to schools and hospitals, while engaging in discussions to improve the country’s medical system.Cho added he plans to meet with heads of the country’s top five hospitals later Monday, followed by another session with administrators of state-run hospitals Tuesday.”We plan to monitor the overall status of the emergency medical system and listen to their difficulties,” he added.The government has been pushing to sharply raise the number of medical students to brace for the country’s fast-aging population, and a shortage of physicians in rural areas and essential areas, such as pediatrics and emergency departments.Doctors, on the other hand, say the quota hikes will undermine the quality of medical education and result in higher medical costs for patients. They have called for measures to first 카지노 address the underpaid specialists and improve legal protection against excessive medical malpractice lawsuits.

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