A new law that makes name tags mandatory for medical professionals went into effect Thursday, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said.
The ministry had pushed for the legislation to prevent the spread of the “bogus doctors” those who have little or no experience but undertake surgeries disguised as licensed – and advertised -- professionals.
|Medical professionals should wear name tags to help patients identify their statuses and qualifications, under a new law that went into effect Thursday.|
In 2014, a high school girl fell into a coma resulting from severe brain damage during an operation by a cosmetic surgeon operating in Gangnam, southern Seoul. Investigations later found a bogus doctor had performed on the patient.
The incident sparked outcries from doctors and the public alike, but similar incidents occurred in the following years.
Industry watchers attribute these sham physicians to widespread cosmetic surgeries in this country. Famous cosmetic surgeons, overloaded with too many patients, began to use unqualified people to perform their operations to maintain revenue but ease their workload.
The ministry revised the medical law last year to allow patients and their guardians to correctly identify the licensed practitioner through the use of badges. “The purpose of the legal revision is to improve the trust between patients and medical personnel by letting patients and caregivers know about the medical staff’s status and qualifications,” a ministry official said.
The modified law states that medical workers who do not wear nameplates as prescribed will face the fine of 300,000 won for the first offense, 450,000 won for the second, and 700,000 won for the third.
According to the ministry, the name tag should display the medical staff’s name as well as his or her qualifications. The badge should also indicate the name of the department and his or her position in the department.
The ministry has let medical institutions decide what is displayed. For instance, specialists can indicate their title as “doctor,” “dentist,” “oriental doctor” instead of their titles or positions.
For medical personnel working in isolation rooms, sterilized treatment rooms, and intensive care units, name badges are not required as they may create infections, according to the new law.
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