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Medical professors to strike Sept. 5

Posted August. 31, 2000 13:03,   


Professors from 41 medical universities resolved Wednesday to refuse to provide medical services for outpatients starting September 5 unless the government works out measures to help solve the doctors` strike, including the revision of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law.

The collective action by the professors is expected to further aggravate the crippled operation of university hospitals.

The national association of medical university professors made such a decision in a rally attended by about 3,500 professors on the grounds of the Catholic University of Korea in Seoul on Wednesday. They also resolved to halt all medical services, including those at emergency rooms, starting September 15. They said they would only care for inpatients at hospitals.

This is the first time for medical professors to make such a collective resolution. However, the real medical service corps, led by interns and residents, say they will continue working at emergency rooms, and the council said that it would not block the professors from treating patients in a form of volunteering.

So, it is expected that a worst-case scenario such as the closure of emergency rooms will not take place. Unless doctors and the government strike a dramatic compromise, a serious disruption is likely to occur starting September 5 due to the suspension of medical services, and emergency surgeries will be impossible at hospitals.

Kim Joon-Seok kjs359@donga.com