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Gov't releases public statement urging doctors to open negotiations over healthcare reform Updated: 2020-08-13 17:03:40 KST

The government has urged doctors to cancel their strike planned for Friday and said it is still open to discussion regarding healthcare reform.

“It will be difficult to gain the trust and support of the people by committing actions that delay treatment and could pose a risk to the lives and safety of patients.”

The health minister also said that the fundamental goals are the same for both the doctors and the government which include making sure that medically neglected areas have enough access to high quality medical care.
The government's solution to this is to expand the medical school student quota and create public medical schools.
Currently, the country has only around two-thirds of the OECD's average of number of doctors which means doctors have less time to see each patient.
The Korean Medical Association, which represents some 130-thousand doctors nationwide, rejects the solution calling it the cheapest way out.
They claim that expanding medical school quota is not the answer as the real issue is not the number of doctors, but the lack of doctors in certain specialties and regions due to low medical fees and poor infrastructure.
In addition, public medical schools will only bring back controversies over increases in the national health insurance premium along with medical bills.
The strike on Friday will be the second one and is planned to be much bigger than the first strike on last Friday.
This time around, local clinics plan to join the strike and close their services.
Seoul City said that around 20-percent of local clinics in the city said they will close.
However, the KMA said medical practitioners whose services directly affect the lives of patients will not join the strike.
The government also reassured the public that it has plans in place to protect the safety of the citizens.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News

Reporter : tkim@arirang.com
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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