After President Moon Jae-in threatened to take strong measures against doctors’ ongoing strike nationwide, Korean Medical Association President Choi Dae-zip called him “fascist.”
At a meeting with church leaders at Cheong Wa Dae on Wednesday, Moon said doctors’ refusal to provide medical care in the Covid-19 crisis aggravated anxiety and pain of the Korean people.
The world calls the fight against Covid-19 “a war,” as the pandemic has become the greatest crisis for the world since World War II and caused the most extensive damage to the human race, Moon said.
|Korean Medical Association President Choi Dae-zip (File photo)|
“In a war situation, soldiers on leave are supposed to come back to the battlefield to fight. Doctors’ leaving hospitals in the Covid-19 crisis is like soldiers leaving the battlefield in a war situation,” Moon said. “To put it another way, they are like firefighters going on a strike when there is the largest fire in history in front of them.”
However, Choi, the leader of the 130,000-member KMA, said Moon not only failed to respond to Covid-19 properly but infringed on doctors’ human rights.
On his social media, Choi wrote on Thursday that Moon’s pushing for “four evils” of healthcare policies in the Covid-19 crisis can be equal to “shooting our soldiers behind their backs in a war.”
Moon’s failure to ban Chinese people from entering Korea in January and February “opened a gate for the enemy” but he still wanted his soldiers to keep their positions, Choi said. Consequently, 130,000 doctors in Korea had to see a spiking number of confirmed patients and work inhumanely to contain the virus, he said.
He emphasized that most Korean physicians were not civil servants but free individuals who are not controlled by the orders of the president or government officials. Choi urged Moon to “stop speaking words that oppress doctors with unconstitutional laws and deny doctors’ fundamental rights and freedom.”
Moon’s words and behaviors completely deny liberal democracy, and they were similar to those of fascist leaders that ruled Europe in the early 20th century, he said.
Choi also criticized Rep. Kim Kyung-hyup of the ruling Democratic Party for calling doctors “viruses that do not care about quarantine and focus only on protecting vested interests” on his Facebook page.
Kim’s remark was the most malicious accusation, insult, defamation, and demeanor against Korean doctors and he should take full responsibility for his words, Choi said.
Another official at the KMA told Korea Biomedical Review that how a lawmaker could call doctors viruses or runaway soldiers, while it was the physicians who battled against the Covid-19 virus.
“The government is threatening to accuse us and press charges against us, pushing the medical community into a corner,” he said. “In this situation, doctors can’t have a dialogue with the government.”
<© Korea Biomedical Review, All rights reserved.>