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Hallym vows to reform abusive work culture for nurses
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2017.12.04 18:07
  • Updated 2017.12.04 18:07
  • comments 0

Hallym University Medical Center said Monday it would improve its organizational culture following the nationwide scandal that revealed its nurses were forced to dance provocatively in risqué attire at an annual company talent competition.

The Ministry of Employment and Labor is currently investigating the accusations levied against the hospital.

Pictures show nurses dancing during the “Il-song Family Day” talent competition in 2013 (left) and 2015 (right).

“Hallym University Medical Center sincerely apologizes for the disturbances caused by the series of controversial events,” the hospital said in a statement. “We will first reform organizational culture to reflect the voices of those in the field as part of efforts to reconstruct a healthy culture and start anew as a cheerful workplace.”

The hospital said that it would abolish controversial weekly video conferences along with Il-song Family Day, the annual talent competition that required medical staff to put in hours of unpaid labor.

To improve working conditions, Hallym said it would maintain a sufficient workforce, enforce working hours, and guarantee use of vacation days.

To improve labor systems, the hospital said it will reform job evaluation and promotion systems, improve execution of conferences, educational sessions, and festivals, ban work-related requests after work hours, and implement severe punishment of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, among others.

“I deeply apologize to all faculty members for causing trouble with the events that drew forth criticism and the eventual mistrust of the organization. I ask that everyone gather strength so Hallym University Medical School can be reborn as a new organization,” said the hospital director, Lee Hae-ran.

Following the controversy, other hospitals have taken preemptive action to prevent verbal, physical, or sexual abuse in the workplace.

Konyang University Hospital last month launched a “respect nurses” campaign that highlighted the humanity of nurses with the slogan, “This nurse is someone’s daughter, wife, and mother.”

Inje University Paik Hospital, the umbrella organization for five hospitals across the nation, also announced guidelines for building a healthy organizational culture that eliminates harmful work culture such as forced participation in events, coerced political activities, sexual assault, and work-life balance for its employees.

The organization said it would send the guidelines to 7,000 employees at its five hospitals and implement a labor inspection center to monitor whether they are adequately observed on site. Inje also will conduct regular surveillance of compliance and install follow-up measures, it added.

“We will make improvements through massive innovation to root out unreasonable organizational culture and practices in our corporation,” Chairman Lee Soon-hyung said. “We will not tolerate any actions that harm interpersonal relationships or the health of the organization.”


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