Medical professors demand vice health minister be excluded from media responses

 Second Vice Health Minister Park Min-soo speaks during a press briefing in Seoul, March 27. Yonhap

An association of medical professors urged the government Saturday to exclude Second Vice Health Minister Park Min-soo from making media responses to facilitate talks in the upcoming negotiations for medical reform.The association, behind a campaign encouraging medical professors’ resignations, made the request a day after Park firmly rejected the medical community’s call for modifying the government’s plan to markedly raise the medical school enrollment quota.During a press briefing Friday, the vice health minister said the government will not repeat “the unfortunate history of succumbing to a specific job group” and vowed to complete the medical reform in accordance with the rule of law.”If Park, who unilaterally delivers the government’s opinion, steps back from media responses, I think it could facilitate dialogue,” Bang Jae-seung, head of the emergency response committee for the council of medical school professors, told a press conference at Seoul National University Hospital.

Park previously came under fire for pronouncing the Korean word for doctors as a derogative term during a press briefing, though he claimed it was a slip of the tongue.The association also recommended medical professors curtail work hours by focusing on essential medical services amid the protracted walkout by trainee doctors at major general hospitals.”Although we have been treating patients without constraint of time and reducing their numbers, it seems that we have reached physical limits. We will adjust our work hours,” Bang said.More than 90 percent of the country’s 13,000 trainee doctors have been on strike in the form of mass resignations since Feb. 20 to protest the government’s decision to increase the medical school enrollment quota by 2,000 seats from the current 3,058 starting next year.Medical service disruptions are expected to worsen further as the professors, who serve as senior doctors at major hospitals, vowed to reduce their weekly work hours to 52 by adjusting surgeries and other medical treatments and to “minimize” medical 스포츠토토존 services for outpatients

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