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Government imposes travel bans on four KMA executives

Posted March. 04, 2024 08:09,   

Updated March. 04, 2024 08:09


Around 40,000 doctors (estimated by the organizers) gathered for a rally in downtown Seoul, opposing the government's plan to expand medical school quota by 2,000 students. Prime Minister Han Duck-soo stood firm, declaring, "In any circumstances, we will not yield to collective actions that endanger people's lives."

On this day, the Emergency Response Committee of the Korean Medical Association (KMA) organized a 'National Doctors' Rally' at Yeouido Park in Seoul. Doctors from medical associations across cities and provinces traveled to Seoul on chartered buses, joined by private practitioners, residents, medical students, and their families. During the event, Kim Taek-woo, chairman of the committee, criticized the government, saying, "The government is manipulating policies and systems to deceive the public, aiming to enslave doctors indefinitely. Medical residents rose up in resistance against government oppression and constraints, akin to Buddha, who burnt his body to save the lives of the common people.

"It is unacceptable for doctors to abandon their patients,” Prime Minister Han said during a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters on this day. “If they continue to unlawfully vacate medical facilities, the government will promptly fulfill its obligations bestowed by the Constitution and laws."

The majority of the residents who left the hospital did not return until the third day, which was the last day of the long weekend. Starting Monday, the government plans to initiate license suspension and complaint procedures against them. Concerns are rising among large hospitals about a potential medical crisis if residents and fellow candidates fail to report to work from Monday onwards. Concurrently, the police have requested travel bans for four executives of the KMA, including Chairman Kim.

Sung-Min Park min@donga.com