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Government issues ultimatum to junior doctors

Posted February. 27, 2024 07:33,   

Updated February. 27, 2024 07:33


The government has issued an ultimatum to medical interns and residents who collectively submitted resignations and walked out of hospitals for a week, demanding their return before Thursday. If they return to the hospitals, they won’t be held accountable. However, if they refuse to come back, the government has warned that they will inevitably face suspension of their doctor's license for more than three months and undergo a judicial process.

This marks the first time the government has explicitly designated a return date since the incident unfolded. It appears that the government selected February 29 as the deadline because, with the contracts of fellows and 3rd- and 4th-year residents expiring at the end of this month or the beginning of next month, and interns refusing to commence their internship programs, there are concerns about a potential medical crisis.

“The essence of welfare lies in providing timely and appropriate treatment when people fall ill, a responsibility mandated by the Constitution of a nation,” President Yoon Suk Yeol said at a weekly meeting with senior secretaries at the Presidential Office. A high-ranking official from the presidential office affirmed that the government stands firm and will uphold its principles in response to the collective action of the medical community.

Sung-Min Park min@donga.com