Seoul turns to foreign doctors as medical strike drags on

Seoul turns to foreign doctors as medical strike drags on

After a rigorous vetting process, the prime minister said on Friday ( May 10 ) that South Korea will allow foreign doctors to work in its hospitals because a month-long strike by junior doctors shows no sign of end.

On February 20, thousands of people stopped working in opposition of the government’s plans to hire more doctors, causing conflict in hospitals.

In a bid to reduce service disruptions, the government announced this week that doctors with international medical licenses may be permitted to exercise there.

After the move was announced, the head of the Korean Medical Association ( KMA ), Lim Hyun- taek, shared a screenshot of a news report on newly graduated Somali doctors with the comment:” Coming Soon”.

The post, which was eventually removed, received a lot of online condemnation and was” evidently racist,” according to Kim Jae-heon, the secretary-general of a non-governmental organization that advocates free medical care.

The article “exploited Islamophobia and discrimination against developing places”, he said.

Han Duck-soo, the prime minister, stated on Friday that the government would “have a thorough safety system to prevent unqualified doctors ( with foreign licenses ) from treating our people.”

Despite the health ministry’s offer next month to reduce proposed health education measures for 2025, the government is locked in a long conflict with the young physicians, who have refused to return to their clinics.

The state says the program to add more doctors is necessary to address shortages and treatment for a fast aging population, but the dazzling doctors have rejected the offer.

The Seoul High Court is now hearing arguments against the government’s clinical plan, with doctors and medical students suing the government to support it.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap media firm, an administrative judge has now rendered a ruling in the administration’s favor, and the Seoul High Court is scheduled to make its decision the following month.