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Clinics launch free treatment protest

Posted August. 27, 2000 20:54,   


Neighborhood clinics, which had partially halted operations until now, will kick off a free treatment protest, in which insured patients will not be charged for their personal portion of medical expenses, from August 28, thereby virtually resuming normal services.

However, the plan to provide free treatment indefinitely has been altered and will be implemented only for one week. The direction of the medical circles` protest after this will be decided at the nationwide doctors` indignation meeting slated for August 31.

This is according to the judgment that continuing free treatment indefinitely, which will result in a substantial loss of income, will be a great burden to doctors and gaining full support for the move will be difficult.

Medical college professors have decided to organize an independent rally for the improvement of the medical environment in support of the struggle of interns and residents at the 100th Year Anniversary Memorial Hall of Yonsei University on August 30.

But medical students, who are walking the path of voluntary resignation, have decided to convene an Emergency United Representatives` Meeting Saturday at Kyungpook National University in Daegu and to suspend the submission of voluntary resignation letters for the time being. The students intend to stand by and monitor the government`s response.

In the meantime, the government will hold a meeting with related ministers, chaired by President Kim Dae-Jung, at the Blue House in the morning on August 28, and will discuss plans for the early implementation of the separation of pharmacies and clinics and support plans on the governmental level.

Jung Young-Gwan jongari@donga.com