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Breakthrough might end medical crisis

Posted October. 10, 2000 15:40,   


It has been revealed that the government and the nation¡¯s doctors have reached an agreement in their talks Monday concerning the Medical Reform Act including a revision of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Laws.

Accordingly, an imminent end to the medical crisis, which has plagued Korea for the past four months, might be near.

The agreement will be presented to the ¡°committee for the fight for the rights of doctors¡± under the umbrella group Korean Medical Association for a voting process by all members. A source in the doctors' camp revealed that the passage of the agreement was likely as long as there aren't any unforeseen developments.

"The negotiation with the doctors is nearing an end," President Kim Dae-Jung said Monday during the meeting with the opposition party's leader.

The government and the 10 representatives of the advance guard of the KMA held a meeting in the presence of the Special Committee for the Advancement in the Medical Field, directly under the office of the president, to discuss the government's medical policy regarding the medical insurance readjustment and doctor's fee increase. The negotiation parties also agreed to revise the Pharmaceutical Affairs Laws through a tripartite process including doctors-pharmacists and the government.

The doctors insisted that the government must craft a law for the mandatory packaging of medicines for the amount at least or seven days in order to prevent the voluntary dispensation of medicine by pharmacists. However, the government disagreed, as it would only heighten the inconvenience of the people.

The committee for doctor's rights held a meeting at its headquarters during the night to discuss the agreement hammered out with the government, and it submit a request to remove the intravenous drugs from the list of medicines and drugs to be included in medical Reform. It has been revealed that the government was in fundamental agreement.

The doctors' committee has decided to call off the general strike by neighborhood doctors' offices and medium-sized hospitals Oct. 11, as it had reached some semblance of agreement with the government. However in the case of the interns and medical school students, the strike would be called off after the revision of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law becomes evident.