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Yoon stresses medical reform 'for all' during visit to heart hospital

By Yonhap

Published : April 9, 2024 - 21:56

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President Yoon Suk Yeol (second from right) speaks to senior doctors at Bucheon Sejong Hospital in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, just southwest of Seoul, on Tuesday. (Yonhap) President Yoon Suk Yeol (second from right) speaks to senior doctors at Bucheon Sejong Hospital in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, just southwest of Seoul, on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol stressed Tuesday that medical reform should not come at the expense of the public or medical personnel but be made to satisfy both sides.

Yoon made the point during a visit to a cardiovascular hospital in Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province, just southwest of Seoul, in his fourth such visit to a medical facility amid a prolonged walkout by junior doctors protesting a government plan to raise the medical school admissions quota.

"Medical reform should be for all and not forcing the sacrifice from either the people or medical professionals," Yoon said during a meeting with senior doctors at the Bucheon Sejong Hospital.

"Medical personnel should feel rewarded just doing their work, and that's what makes the people, who receive their service, happy," Yoon said.

Yoon underscored the need for more state support for the doctors in essential fields, such as cardiologists, to be rewarded with the pay and other incentives they deserve, saying that's what makes a "fair medical system."

Yoon said that his government has been making efforts to hear the opinions of various groups in the medical community to narrow the gap in the doctors' compensation systems that greatly differ depending on their medical specialties.

"We can achieve complex and solid reform in the system only if the doctors and nurses in various fields put their heads together for discussions," he said.

Doctors, mostly resident doctors and interns, have walked off their jobs since late February, calling for the government to withdraw the plan to increase the number of physicians.

The Yoon government said that it remains open to discussing an adjustment to the quota if the medical community proposes a "unified alternative based on scientific and rational grounds." (Yonhap)