The government is considering a penalty on training hospitals that violate the law by coercing medical residents to overwork. The current law bans overwork longer than 88 working hours per week or consecutive 36-hour work for medical residents.
The Committee for the Assessment of Medical Training, comprised of representatives of various medical associations, recently discussed the effectiveness of the current law, which took effect on Dec. 23.
The Act for the Improvement of Training Conditions and Status of Medical Residents allows the government to impose 3 million won ($2,700) fine on hospitals that violate such working conditions. Repeated violations can lead to the coerced reduction of the quota for residents and even the cancellation of the designation as training hospital.
The committee said follow-up measures should be taken to improve the quality of resident training environment at hospitals.
It proposed to cut the subsidy, originally given for improvement of medical service, on those who violate the law.
According to the committee, the subsidy for training residents takes up 8 percent, or 40 billion won, of the total 500 billion won subsidy given to improve the quality of medical service.
The 40 billion won is doled out to 200 training hospitals. Those violating the law might not be able to receive the subsidy, the committee said.
Regarding the issue, an official of the Ministry of Health and Welfare said the government was actively reviewing it.
“It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but we are reviewing because the committee proposed it. We will do our best to verify the effectiveness of the Act,” the official said in a meeting with reporters.
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