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Medical professors oppose move to reject agreement

Posted November. 15, 2000 10:00,   


Medical university professors have come out to halt a move by a hard-line group of doctors to reject the agreement on the medical reform plan that doctors, pharmacists and government officials produced after months of negotiations. The "committee for the struggle to regain medical rights'' led by doctors operating their own clinics under the wing of the Korea Medical Association is moving to reject the accord, which is designed to settle the conflict between doctors and pharmacists over the clear-cut separation of their roles.

The committee members Wednesday conducted a vote on the accord among the three parties to determine whether they were pleased with it, not if they accepted or rejected it.

This indicates that the committee leaders intend to sway its members who feel some of the agreement¡¯s contents are unsatisfactory, although they evaluate the entire accord positively.

As the members cast a tie vote on two options -- acceptance or rejection and satisfaction or dissatisfaction -- committee chairman Shin Sang-Jin exercised his casting vote to adopt the option for satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

Responding to the move of the committee, the National Medical University Faculty said in a statement that the agreement met the demands of the medical world on the whole despite some insufficient contents. It stressed that the committee should not ignore the agreement itself.

Prof. Kim Hyun-Jip of the Medical College of Seoul National University, chairman of the faculty, said there are clear signs that the committee is attempting to foil the agreement to push through the optional separation of roles between doctors and pharmacists.

Most medical professors maintain the position that they should not simply stand back and watch such a move by the committee, he said.

He also said that it is not right for the committee, which had kept silent while being briefed on the progress of the negotiations, to denounce the agreement.

Meanwhile, interns and residents returned to emergency rooms and intensive care units to normalize medical services at general hospitals. Medical students decided to conduct a vote on whether to return to classes Friday.