2,000 is minimum necessary increase in medical school admissions: S. Korean President

by IANS |

Seoul, April 1 (IANS) South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday said that 2,000 is the minimum necessary increase in medical school admissions, ruling out any adjustment despite a prolonged walkout by junior doctors.

Yoon made the remark during an address to the nation as the standoff between the government and the medical community over the admissions quota showed little sign of a breakthrough, Yonhap news agency reported.

"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 criticise 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 doctors' groups until the decision was reached," he said.

Yoon, however, noted that the government is open to talks if doctors propose a more reasonable, rational alternative, the report said.

Earlier, Health Minister Cho Kyoo-hong on Monday said that the government will accomplish medical reform, "by only looking at the people".

Speaking at a government response meeting, Cho repeated his appeal for junior doctors to return to work, Yonhap reported.

Cho urged "medical professors to withdraw their collective resignations and trainee doctors to return to hospitals."

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