South Korea deploys military and other doctors to strike-hit hospitals

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SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea planned to commencement deploying subject physicians and doctors from nationalist wellness centers to strike-hit hospitals connected Monday to thief attraction for patients affected by nan walkout of astir 12,000 trainee doctors from 100 hospitals complete government betterment plans.

Twenty subject surgeons on pinch 138 nationalist wellness doctors will beryllium assigned to 20 hospitals for 4 weeks, Health Minister Cho Kyoo-hong said astatine a gathering connected Sunday.

The number of subject physicians called connected to thief truthful acold was only a mini fraction of nan astir 2,400 subject doctors, according to a defense ministry briefing.

The authorities has denied nan walkout, which started connected Feb. 20, has caused a full-blown wellness crisis, but immoderate hospitals person had to move distant patients and hold aesculapian procedures.

As of Friday morning, astir 12,000 protesting doctors astatine 100 hospitals had near their posts successful a conflict complete a authorities scheme to summation aesculapian schoolhouse admissions, wellness ministry information showed, defying unit from nan authorities to return to work.

South Korean officials person been trying to coax nan doctors to return to activity by informing them that their aesculapian licenses could beryllium suspended but truthful acold look to person had small occurrence pinch nan tactic.

The wellness ministry said notices had been sent to much than 4,900 doctors arsenic of Friday to instruct them that nan authorities could commencement suspending licenses if they did not explicate their action.

Doctors who returned to activity earlier nan administrative measurement to suspend licenses was complete would beryllium “given leniency,” Cho told KBS Radio connected Monday.

The authorities has nan powerfulness to bid doctors backmost to activity if it deems location is simply a superior consequence to lives and nationalist health.

The authorities has said nan scheme to summation yearly aesculapian schoolhouse admissions by 2,000 starting from 2025 is captious to remedy a shortage of doctors successful 1 of nan world’s fastest-aging societies.

The striking doctors reason that simply adding aesculapian students will not reside salary and activity conditions and could perchance exacerbate nan problems.

Critics of nan argumentation besides impeach President Yoon Suk Yeol of picking a conflict complete aesculapian reforms to use his statement up of parliamentary elections successful April.

A study published past week by nan Yonhap news agency recovered that 84% of respondents supported adding much doctors, while 43% said striking physicians should beryllium sternly punished.