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SNU Hospital doctors' strike with 74% of professors agreeing to stop

SNU Hospital doctors' strike with 74% of professors agreeing to stop

Posted June. 22, 2024 08:22,   

Updated June. 22, 2024 08:22


Professors at four hospitals under the purview of Seoul National University (SNU) Medical School—SNU Hospital, SNU Bundang Hospital, SNU Boramae Medical Center, and SNU Healthcare System Gangnam Center—have decided to end their indefinite strike, which began on June 17. This decision, after five days of refusing to see patients, brings a sense of relief to the public and patients. Two main factors apparently influenced their decision to halt the strike: the increasing harm to patients and the realization that the executive orders requiring medical trainees to continue providing care and return to work were unlikely to be revoked, despite the professors' requests to the government. The hospitals are set to resume operations on June 24.

The Emergency Response Committee of Professors at SNU Medical School and its affiliated hospitals, in a display of unity and determination, announced on June 21 that 698 out of 948 respondents (73.6%) in a survey conducted by the committee voted to end the strike and pursue more sustainable methods of resistance.

The Committee noted that the reason for stopping the all-out strike was the imminent damage to patients. They explained that severe-case patients currently receiving medical attention could suffer real harm if the strike continued, even though the hospitals had been providing care for severe-case, intractable, and emergency patients. However, the Committee will continue to fight more sustainably by monitoring and criticizing the policy drafting process and offering suggestions.

SNU's decision will likely influence other major university hospitals, including Severance Hospital and Seoul Asan Hospital, which had warned of indefinite strikes. An official for the Emergency Response Committee for Yonsei University medical professors who operate Severance Hospital, Gangnam Severance Hospital, and Yongin Severance Hospital stated that they would assess the situation, hold an internal meeting, and have an in-depth discussion, if necessary, involving all the professors to decide whether to start a strike.

조유라 기자 jyr0101@donga.com