UPDATE : Monday, September 7, 2020
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8 in 10 clinical professors willing to act collectively
  • By Song Soo-youn
  • Published 2020.09.03 16:29
  • Updated 2020.09.04 14:33
  • comments 0

About 80 percent of medical school professors across the nation said they would take collective action such as quitting the job if junior doctors on strike get administrative punishment, a survey showed.

As medical school students are refusing the take the state medical licensing exam to oppose the government’s healthcare policy, 95 percent of the professors said they would not supervise the exam.

The association of professors at medical colleges nationwide conducted a poll on 7,696 professors from Monday to Wednesday. Except for 664 respondents who remained anonymous, the association analyzed the responses of 7,032 professors.

Asked how clinical professors would act if interns, residents, or fellow doctors are punished for criminal charges by the government, 77 percent of them said they should take a group action. Eighty-five percent of them said they would join such action.

In multiple responses, the largest number of the respondents (1,668) picked the resigning the professorship as the method of collective action, followed by suspension of clinical service by returning adjunct professorship (1,546), keeping the 52-hour workweek for one or two months (1,512), and taking vacation leave for three to five days simultaneously (1,407).

As for the timing when the professors have to take collective action, 40 percent said “the sooner, the better,” and another 41 percent said,” when junior and fellow doctors get punished.” Thirteen percent said they should take a group action when the government decides to drop out medical school students or those who refused to take the state exam.

Amid the senior medical school students’ refusal to take the state medical licensing exam, 95 percent of the clinical professors said they would refuse to supervise the exam even at the request from the Korea Health Personnel Licensing Examination Institute. Only 1 percent said they would supervise the exam and the rest 4 percent did not express any opinions.

Slightly over 50 percent of the respondents said junior and fellow doctors could return to work “if the government announces the withdrawal of four evil healthcare policies.” Twenty percent said they should return to work “if the government says it would review the matter after Covid-19 ends.” Another 20 percent said young doctors come back to work if the government cancels plans to increase medical school admissions quotas and establish a state-run medical school. Only 6 percent said junior doctors should return to work as soon as possible.

As for the government’s four healthcare policies – increasing doctors, establishing a state-run medical university, allowing reimbursement for traditional herbal medicines, and expanding telehealth – that the Korean Medical Association called “four evils,” 63 percent said all of them should be abolished.

Another 25 percent said they could agree on the policies partially, and 1,412 professors said they agreed that non-contact medical care should be expanded.

The survey explained to the professors that the head of the Korean Hospital Association 9KHA), who is a director at a medium-sized hospital, agreed with the government to increase medical school admissions.

Then, it asked them whether they thought university hospitals should be separated from the KHA, 85 percent said they should.


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