Close this search box.
Close this search box.

(LEAD) Yoon says 2,000 is minimum increase in med school admissions

President Yoon Suk Yeol said Monday that 2,000 is the minimum necessary increase in medical school admissions, though the government will be open to talks if doctors propose a “more reasonable and rational” alternative.

Yoon made the remark during an address to the nation amid little sign of a breakthrough in a standoff between the government and the medical community over the admissions quota hike.

“Some people claim increasing the number by 2,000 at once is excessive,” he said during the live address from the presidential office.

“They even criticize that the government decided on a 2,000-person increase without any clear plans and unilaterally. That is certainly not the case.”

Yoon said his bigger concern is that even with the 2,000-person increase, it will be another 10 years before the newly trained doctors join the workforce.

“The number 2,000 is a minimum increase the government came up with through thorough calculations, and followed sufficient discussions with the medical community, including d
octors’ groups, until the decision was reached,” he said.

Some 12,000 junior doctors have walked off the job since Feb. 20 to protest the government’s plan, while medical professors have submitted their resignations en masse to join the collective action.

The professors, who work as senior doctors at major hospitals, have vowed to reduce their working hours starting this week to cope with growing fatigue caused by the prolonged walkout by their juniors. Community doctors have said they will take similar action.

“If the medical community wants to argue for reducing the size of the increase, it is only right for them to suggest a unified proposal to the government, with a clear and scientific basis, and not conduct collective action,” Yoon said. “If they bring a more reasonable and rational measure, we can discuss it any time.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency