“Enacting a nursing law will renovate the healthcare system in Korea!”
More than 50,000 nurses and nursing students shouted this and other slogans at a rally organized by the Korean Nurses Association (KNA) in the Gwanghwamun Plaza, downtown Seoul, Wednesday. They made demands concerning nursing policies and called for innovating the healthcare system.
|Nurses and nursing students call for enacting a nursing law, at a protest rally in the Gwanghwamun Plaza, central Seoul, on Wednesday.
With the slogan, “Pushing for the enactment of a nursing law to innovate the outdated healthcare system,” the nurses’ group declared five significant tasks.
They are reforming healthcare system centered on prevention and health promotion for the public and patients, activating the integrated care system for community, establishing a cooperative license system between nurses and doctors, resolving the imbalance of supply and demand of nurses and improving the working environment, and revising nursing-related laws and building a reasonable nursing delivery system.
KNA President Shin Kyung-rim emphasized that enacting a nursing law was crucial to achieving the five major tasks.
“We are facing a grave situation where we need to question whether the current healthcare and welfare system is sustainable due to unprecedentedly low birthrate and population aging,” Shin said. “We need healthcare innovation to shift the focus -- from treatment to prevention and chronic disease management, from care providers to patients, and from institutions to community networks. The solution lies in the enactment of a nursing law.”
According to Shin, the current healthcare system requires advanced and highly specialized teams and nurses play a vital role in this system. Due to the outdated and independent Medical Service Act, however, nurses are facing confusion between legal and illegal practices, she said.
By pushing for the enactment of new nursing law, the KNA will have a cooperative work system with physicians so that nurses will not have to worry about breaching the law as physician assistants (PA), she added.
Shin went on to say that enacting nursing legislation will relieve the shortage of nurses, improve their working conditions, and help build an efficient nursing care delivery system for the public.
Pointing out that more than 90 countries have a nursing law, the KNA head stressed the need for enacting a separate nursing law.
“Why can’t Korea have a nursing law when over 90 nations have already enacted it,” Shin said. “At a critical time when the Korean healthcare paradigm needs to change, we can find the solution in enacting a nursing law.”
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