Hospital operating rooms are likely to be mandated to install surveillance cameras starting from 2023.
The Health and Welfare Committee of the National Assembly approved a bill requiring the installation of surveillance cameras in hospital operating rooms through a plenary session on Monday. This is the first time in six years that the bill was passed by a parliamentary standing committee since it was first proposed by the 19th National Assembly in 2015. The centerpiece of the revised bill is to install and operate surveillance cameras not connected to an external network in hospital operating rooms. The opposition and ruling parties, however, agreed to set a grace period of two years after the bill’s proclamation in order to reduce confusion in the medical field.
According to the revised bill, recording is mandatory without audio when requested by a patient. The footage is available for inspection when there is a request from public institutions for an investigation or a trail, or consent of both the patient and the medical staff. Considering protest from the medical field, the ruling and opposition parties included a clause that allows medical staff to deny recording when there is a justifiable reason. In addition, they have come up with legal basis for the government and local governments supporting the cost of surveillance camera installation and had the requesting party to pay the cost for viewing the footage.
The revised bill will be reviewed by the parliamentary Legislation and Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and will be finalized at the general meeting of the National Assembly on Wednesday. In response, the Korean Medical Association protested, saying it is a wrong bill that goes against public health, safety, and the protection of patients, and sets back the development of the medical field.