South Korean doctors protest plans to increase the number of admissions to medical schools South Korean doctors protest plans to increase the number of admissions to medical schools

South Korean doctors protest plans to increase the number of admissions to medical schools

South Korean doctors protest plans to increase the number of admissions to medical schools

Thousands of doctors in South Korea organized a massive march on Sunday to protest against the government's plans to increase the number of students accepted into medical schools, in defiance of official calls for trainee doctors to return to work after they left their jobs in protest against these plans.

The Korean Medical Association, which represents health professionals in the private sector and is responsible for organizing the march, said that about 40,000 doctors participated in today's protest, and demanded that the government reverse this step.

Police estimated the number of protesters at about 12,000.

The march comes the day after the end of the deadline set by the government for trainee doctors to return to work.

About 9,000 resident and trainee doctors in major hospitals, or about 70% of the total number of doctors in the country, announced that they would stop working in late February, which led to the cancellation of some surgical operations and the disruption of emergency departments.

An official at the Korean Medical Association, Jo Soo Ho, said that the government must reform the existing medical system first before increasing the number of admissions to medical schools.

The government wants to increase the number of admissions by about 2,000 starting in 2025, compared to 3,000 currently, so that the number will eventually rise to 10,000 by 2035.

"The government set the deadline, and regardless of the deadline and the pressure, we will continue to move forward," Gu said.

Prime Minister Han Dak-soo urged the Korean Medical Association on Sunday to stop the protest, and asked trainee doctors to return to work.

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