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Gov’t should discuss with doctors via consultative body

Gov’t should discuss with doctors via consultative body

Posted February. 26, 2024 07:55,   

Updated February. 26, 2024 07:55


With trainee doctors resigning in protest to the government’s plan to increase medical placements, the Association of Major National University Professors (AMNUP) on Sunday proposed to form a consultative body encompassing the medical, educational, and industrial sectors. "We need to come up with a policy to increase medical school quota that reflects actual conditions,” the association said. “We hope that the crisis we are facing can be leveraged as a driving force to create a future-oriented medical framework, medical education, and an academic ecosystem.” The aim is to form a consultative body to raise awareness on increasing the medical school quota and leveraging the opportunity to establish comprehensive medical innovation measures.

AMNUP, an organization comprised of faculty presidents from major national universities, stepping up to the scene signals professors, not only those from medical schools, have taken steps to mediate between the government and the medical community. Increasing the medical student quota by 2,000 was suggested to revive essential medical services and address the medical gap between urban and rural areas. Still, its impact is not limited to the medical community. It is evident that top-class students will flock to medical schools, leaving behind a significant gap in the number of science and engineering majors, which would result in a labor shortage in high-tech industries. The government must work with education and business circles to address the side effects of increasing the medical school quota.

The adequacy of the increase of 2,000 students is also being debated, particularly as the government announced plans without sharing specifics or plans to increase professors or facilities.

The government belatedly announced plans to increase the number of professors at national university medical schools by 1,000, which should not have been announced first. The presidential office remains adamant that the increase of 2,000 is adequate and necessary. AMNUP’s ask to develop “realistic policies” has a point. The consultative body can also verify the appropriate scale of increase.

There are growing public concerns that the confrontation between the government and medical circles might result in a medical crisis in March. Medical interns accepted to national university hospitals are giving up their positions following medical trainees’ resignations. Third- and fourth-year residents, who have remained at hospitals, will also be leaving at the end of the month, leaving patients and families in distress. The government and the medical sector should resume dialogue immediately and accept the proposal to form a consultative body from different sectors, instead of discussing policies behind closed doors.