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Medical technologists demand clarified role, better treatment
  • By Lee Min-ju
  • Published 2018.10.08 13:21
  • Updated 2018.10.08 17:28
  • comments 0

Eight associations of medical laboratory scientists in Korea have voiced up for a clarified role of their job and better treatment.

The eight groups, including the Korea Association of Medical Technologists, the Korean Radiological Technologists Association, and the Korea Physical Therapy Association, met up at the Grand Hall of Yonsei University in Seoul, Friday, to present their demands in healthcare policies.

The event gathered hundreds of medical technologists from across the nation. The atmosphere heated up with lawmakers pledging to improve their work-related welfare and address issues.

Participants from the eight associations, including the Korea Association of Medical Technologists, the Korean Radiological Technologists Association, and the Korea Physical Therapy Association, hold a meeting to present their demands in healthcare policies at the Grand Hall of Yonsei University in Seoul, Friday.

“The eight groups of clinical lab scientists have played a crucial role in advancing the public health and welfare,” said Kim Yang-geun, president of the Korean Confederation of Medical Technologist Associations. “But let’s not be complacent. We need new growth. Let’s establish a new vision and detailed goals.”

The policy goals of the eight associations include enacting a law on advanced medical devices, benchmarking the role of medical technologists in advanced nations, establishing an education evaluation institute for clinical lab scientists, and standardizing the scope of work.

Besides, each group suggested respective policies that they deemed most important.

The Korea Association of Medical Technologists urged the government to lift the ban on medical lab scientists that prohibits them from participating in a hospital’s infection control. It claimed that the Medical Service Act’s Enforcement Rules should be revised to allow medical technologists with experience and knowledge to manage infection.

The Korean Radiological Technologists Association said the risk of radiation exposure has become a social issue. The association said it needs a policy to systematically manage radiation devices and reduce radiation for a safe work environment for radiologists.

The Korea Physical Therapy Association requested a clear definition of the work of physical therapists, as their duties are arbitrarily included in the “Medical Service Technologists, Etc. Act.” The Korean Association of Occupational Therapists called for introducing “psychiatric occupational therapist” by amending the Act on the Improvement of Mental Health.

The Korean Medical Record Association said the government should revise the Medical Service Act’s Enforcement Rules to regard medical recordists as an essential workforce of a medical institution.

The Korean Optometric Association demanded the policy support for the elderly’s glasses, and the Korean Dental Hygienists Association, the guarantee of the legal scope of work of dental hygienists.

Lawmakers who attended the meeting agreed with medical technologists’ opinions and vowed to listen to their voices.

Rep. Nam In-soon of the ruling Democratic Party said she would aggressively push to reflect medical technologists’ opinions in the policy-making if the eight organizations could speak in one voice. “As a member of the Health and Welfare Committee, I will listen to your voice so that your expertise can be recognized,” she said.

Rep. Yoon So-ha of the minor opposition Justice Party said medical technologists did not receive proper social treatment despite their expertise. “We should change this reality. We should highly appreciate their effort,” she said.

Lee Myoung-su, head of the National Assembly’s Health and Welfare Committee, said an impeded development of jobs such as medical lab scientists would not only hamper public health improvement but hurt the growth of Korea’s competitiveness in the healthcare industry.

minju9minju@docdocdoc.co.kr

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