Ministry of Health and Welfare emphasizes, “Do not use the patient’s life as a tool”
The political world is also requested to “cooperate in a major way”
The government said it was “fortunate” that medical residents did not immediately take collective action and urged medical groups to engage in active dialogue. If doctors, including residents, take collective action, all ministries will respond, including supporting military medical personnel to prevent medical gaps.
Park Min-soo, Second Vice Minister of Health and Welfare, said at a briefing held by the Doctors’ Collective Action Central Accident Control Headquarters at the Sejong Government Complex on the 13th, “The door to dialogue is open,” and added, “Participate in changing the culture and environment through reasonable dialogue, not collective methods.” “I ask medical professionals to do the same,” he said. Vice Minister Park cited the rally scheduled for the 15th by the Korean Medical Association as an example and said, “You can freely criticize the government,” adding, “However, we strongly request that patients’ lives not be used as tools, such as mass closures, mass resignations, or mass annual leave.” “He emphasized.
In response to the criticism that the government’s hard-line response is encouraging doctors to take collective action, Vice Minister Park said, “The government’s response to collective action is a natural measure to protect the lives and health of the people,” and “If we follow the law, there will be no problems for anyone.” He countered. In response to some claims that the announcement of an increase in the number of medical schools was for ‘election purposes’, he explained, “The policy to increase the number of students is a decision for public health, and we will quickly implement the relevant procedures in consultation with the Ministry of Education so that allocation to each school can be confirmed before April.”
Criticism of doctors’ collective action also emerged one after another in the political world. People Power Party floor leader Yoon Jae-ok said at the emergency response committee meeting held at the headquarters in Yeouido that day, “There is a big problem with the executive branch of some medical groups that abandon professional ethics and insist on radical collective action while holding the people’s health and lives hostage.” “I hope that we will have a broad conversation and cooperate with the government’s efforts to overcome the crisis in essential medical care and local medical care,” he said.
The Ministry of National Defense announced its position that if doctors go on strike in protest of the government’s expansion of medical school capacity, it may consider using the military medical system to provide medical services to the public.
Ministry of National Defense spokesman Jeon Ha-gyu said, “The military also has a medical system, so if an official request is made within the range of support available to the military, we will review whether or not to provide support.” Regarding whether it is possible to dispatch military doctors or use military medical facilities in the event of a group action, he said, “As far as I know, that part has not been reviewed,” and “We will (review) within the laws and regulations and within the scope of support available.” If the Ministry of National Defense officially decides to provide support, it is expected that support will be provided for military medical personnel, facilities, and equipment.
Reporters Lee Jeong-han, Park Soo-chan, and Yoo Ji-hye
[ⓒ 세계일보 & Segye.com, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]
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