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Health minister vows to ensure psychiatrists’ safety
  • By Choi Gwang-seok
  • Published 2019.01.03 10:56
  • Updated 2019.01.03 10:56
  • comments 0

Health and Welfare Minister Park Neung-hoo and Korea Medical Association (KMA) President Choi Dae-zip visited the funeral home of a psychiatrist who was killed by a patient during a consultation at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, on Monday.

Accompanying KMA Vice President Park Hong-jun and General Director Jeong Seong-gyun, Choi paid tribute to Lim Se-won, the late psychiatrist at Kangbuk Samsung, at Seoul Red Cross Hospital on Wednesday. Kangbuk Samsung does not offer funeral home services.

Korean Medical Association President Choi Dae-zip (second from right seated at the table) speaks with Health and Welfare Minister Park Neung-hoo (left) to discuss measures to ensure physicians’ safety at Seoul Red Cross Hospital in Seoul, Wednesday.

Choi prayed for the deceased who not only did his best to treat mental illness but helped nurses escape first from the crime scene. Choi also shared his sadness with the bereaved families and expressed his consolation, pledging KMA’s support for the funeral process.

“I feel terrible and bitter because of this unfortunate incidence. As the medical community has urged, the government should prepare a legal and institutional system to ensure the safety of medical professionals,” Choi said. “No more physician should lose a life.”

Choi promised that KMA would take initiatives to establish an organization to discuss the issue of violence in medical institutions. KMA would urge the health and welfare ministry, related agencies, medical experts, and civic groups to participate in the discussion to root out such violence, he emphasized.

Choi mentioned the revision bill of the Medical Service Act, which is pending at the National Assembly’s health and welfare committee. “I will seek active cooperation of lawmakers for the passing of the revision bill in the next provisional session,” he said.

Health and Welfare Minister Park said he felt sorry and regretful that the patient killed the psychiatrist at a hospital where medical staffs save lives and provide treatment.

“The ministry will prepare measures to improve the system to ensure that a similar event does not occur, and propose the government’s plan to enact a related law,” Park said.

The minister vowed to investigate the incidence of violent cases at medical scenes thoroughly. “Based on this, we will establish a measure to prevent violence at medical institutions,” he said.

The health and welfare ministry held an urgent meeting with the medical community on Thursday morning to discuss related measures.


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