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Last updated: 13 Apr, 2024  

Doctor.9.Thmb.jpg S. Korea court dismisses doctor group leaders' request to halt license suspension

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IANS | 12 Apr, 2024
A court in South Korea's Seoul on Thursday dismissed requests by leaders of the biggest doctors' association to halt the government's suspension of their medical licenses in connection with a mass walkout by trainee doctors.

The Health Ministry earlier suspended two leaders of the Korea Medical Association (KMA), including the emergency committee head, Kim Taek-woo, accusing them of instigating a collective labour action by trainee doctors, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The suspension becomes effective on April 15.

Over 90 per cent of South Korea's 13,000 trainee doctors have walked off the job since February 20 in protest of the government's plan to increase the number of medical school admissions by 2,000 starting next year from the current 3,058 seats to address a shortage of doctors.

Kim has since filed a request against the Health Minister with the Seoul Administrative Court to halt the execution of the license suspension. However, the court dismissed the request, saying halting the suspension could compromise the effectiveness of the Health Ministry's punitive action taken against disobedience of back-to-work orders and hinder the public's trust in such punitive actions.

It also cited the possibility of the collective walkout by doctors spreading further and prolonging a medical vacuum, concluding that the harm it can inflict on public health and welfare is significantly graver than the damage the applicant could sustain from the suspension.

In a separate ruling on Thursday, the administrative court also dismissed a request by Park Myung-ha, the KMA's organisation consolidation chief, to halt the suspension of his medical license.

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