The Korean Medical Association said it has decided to stage a nationwide strike on Aug. 14 and encourage all KMA member physicians and medical school students to join it.
Leaders of the sub-group medical associations from cities and provinces held an emergency meeting in Osong, North Chungcheong Province, on Saturday and determined the schedule for the nationwide walkout.
Last week, KMA President Choi Dae-zip had said the strike would take place either on Aug. 14 or Aug. 18 to protest the government’s confirmation of the plan to increase medical school admissions quotas.
The KMA said it would meet with trainee doctors and medical school students from Monday to encourage their participation in the strike.
The KMA plans to confirm the executive board’s written resolution by July 31 and hold a news conference on Aug. 1 to announce five demands for the government.
In the first week of August, the medical group will continue to meet with interns and residents, and hold an emergency meeting of leaders of the medical groups of cities and provinces on Aug. 8.
In the second week of August, the KMA will meet regional leaders and provincial academic societies to ask them to join the strike.
“If there is any common ground between the government and the medical community, negotiations are possible. But medical students, trainee doctors, clinic owners, and medical school professors seem to have no plan to compromise now,” said an official from the group of medical association leaders of cities and provinces.
They were furious to hear the government’s announcement, despite all their efforts to fight the Covid-19 crisis, he added.
The official noted that clinic owners and the KMA members would take the lead for the strike, and trainee physicians and medical school students will follow.
“During our meeting, one doctor said if the government would eliminate all Oriental medicine schools and redirect their admissions quotas for medical school admissions, he could agree,” the official said. “Nothing short of it would dissuade us from taking action.”
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