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Marydoty Hospital leaves Korea fulfilling 35 years of service mission‘Time for public hospitals to take care of poor, weak people’
  • By Kwak Sung-sun
  • Published 2017.06.29 11:20
  • Updated 2017.06.30 13:08
  • comments 0

The Marydoty Hospital completed its medical treatments in Korea with the last mass Thursday, wrapping up its service for moneyless, powerless and isolated people over the past 35 years since its inception in 1982.

Marydoty Hospital도티기념병원 was named after Mr. Doty, who helped to establish it by contributing $1 million to Father Soh Aloysius when the priest planned to build a hospital in Korea 35 years ago.

Since its foundation, Sisters of Mary has operated the hospital with the motto of “we treat the poorest and most troubled patients with special devotion.”

As to why they close the hospital and stop the treatments of patients, the convent said, “We have fulfilled our responsibilities in Korea.”

The Sisters of Mary and its sponsors, who have also been conducting charities in other countries, including Guatemala, Honduras, and the Philippines, judged they need to support countries where there are more poor people suffering from severe pains than Korea.

Marydoty Hospital, founded in 1982 as the “hospital for poor patients,” closed its door Thursday after 35 years of dedicated service.

Choi Young-a최영아, who has been serving as the director of the international medicine department since 2009, said she, too, entirely agrees with the decision made by the Sisters of Mary.

“As the Sisters of Mary have decided, it seems to be time for public hospitals here to take over the role of Marydoty Hospital and take care of patients who have been treated here,” Choi said. “The Sisters of Mary are performing similar jobs in places where situations are far worse than in Korea.”

“The Sisters of Mary supporters seem to have judged it not a good idea to support the hospital to help improve its financial conditions,” the director said. “From the standpoint of sponsors, it is right to use the money for poor countries than Korea.”

After the decision on closure, patients left at the Marydoty Hospital have left the hospital or been were transferred to other public hospitals

The hospital’s shutdown at the end of June does not mean sisters working at the convent will leave Eunpyeong District in Seoul where the hospital is located.

As the Sisters of Mary decided to retain the orphanage in the Kumnamu Village where the hospital was for two more years, the hospital building will be used as the ancillary structure of the orphanage.

Unclear future for medical staffs

As the history of Marydoty Hospital is old, so are the staffs who have worked for the hospital for long.

A relatively young doctor at the gynecology department has found a job in another hospital while director Choi is trying to find one in neighboring public hospitals.

Seventeen nurses have been working at the Marydoty Hospital and they also reportedly want to get jobs in other public hospitals.

“The medical workers here worry about their reemployment because they are old. As they have worked at Marydoty for a long time, most director-level doctors are in their 70s and 80s. The 17 nurses are also in their 50s and 60s. It'd be nice if public hospitals hire them, but that doesn’t seem easy,” Choi said.


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