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Medical professors in South Korea resign or reduce work hours in protest over admission seat allocations

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Medical professors in S. Korea resign, cut work hours in protest over admission seats

Medical professors in South Korea have begun submitting resignations and reducing work hours in solidarity with trainee doctors’ prolonged walkout. The government’s reform plan to increase medical students led to protests by 90% of trainee doctors since February 20. President Yoon Suk Yeol instructed closer communication with the medical community regarding the reform plans.

Professors from 19 out of 40 medical schools have signed a joint statement committing to submitting their resignations. Despite threats to quit, they have pledged to remain at work. The ongoing strike by trainee doctors in the form of mass resignations is a response to the government’s decision to increase the medical school enrollment quota by 2,000 seats.

President Yoon Suk Yeol instructed Prime Minister Han Duck-soo to engage more closely with the medical community regarding the government’s medical reform plans. The government was expected to enforce the suspension of medical licenses against protesting doctors starting Tuesday. However, a group of medical professors demanded the government to scrap the reform plan, adding complexity to potential talks between the government and the medical community.

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The Medical Professors Association of Korea stated that they would only engage in discussions with the government if the plan to increase medical school admission seats was abolished. They emphasized that unless this demand was met, the ongoing crisis could not be resolved. The association also announced plans to reduce their weekly work hours to 52 hours by adjusting surgeries and medical treatments, further pressuring the government to reconsider their reform plans.

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