South Korea to deploy over 2,700 nurses due to extended doctors’ strike

Seoul, April 12 (IANS) – In response to the prolonged walkout by trainee doctors, South Korea’s Health Ministry announced plans to dispatch over 2,700 additional physician assistant nurses to hospitals. With more than 90% of trainee doctors on strike, the government aims to address the medical system disruptions caused by the protest.

As of March, 8,982 physician assistants were working in 375 general hospitals nationwide. The government’s decision to add 2,715 more PAs will bring the total number to around 12,000, as reported by Yonhap news agency. The walkout, which began on February 20, has left hospitals in chaos, with junior doctors playing a crucial role in medical institutions.

To mitigate the impact of the strike, the government plans to provide intensive education and training programs for the incoming PAs starting next week. These clinical nurse specialists will be tasked with handling various medical duties to support the healthcare system in the absence of trainee doctors.

Despite discussions between President Yoon Suk Yeol and striking trainee doctors, a breakthrough has yet to be achieved. The government emphasizes the importance of increasing medical school seats by 2,000 to address the looming doctor shortage, especially in rural areas and critical medical fields.

While the government argues that the quota increase is vital to meet the healthcare demands of an ageing population, doctors express concerns about the potential decline in medical education quality. They suggest alternative solutions like better protection against malpractice suits and financial incentives to encourage physicians to work in underserved areas.


IANS, established in 1986, is India's largest independent news service, offering 24x7 news from India and South Asia, and a preferred source for diverse content across six business verticals.

Related Articles