Doctors’ strike continues as a South Korean woman passes away

The government of South Korea has opened an investigation into the death of an 80-year-old woman whose ambulance was turned away from multiple hospitals because of the current doctors’ strike. After experiencing cardiac arrest, the patient passed away in the ambulance. For the past week, about 70% of junior physicians have been on strike in opposition to proposals to train more medical professionals. Because of this, emergency departments are under pressure from the government, which claims that doctors have endangered public health. Due to a shortage of staff and beds, paramedics in the city of Daejon on Friday had called about seven hospitals to take the woman, but they were turned away.

 

After calling for assistance for 67 minutes, she was finally admitted to a public university hospital, but upon arrival, her condition was declared fatal. Government representatives declared on Tuesday that they would look into the situation, which has received a lot of coverage in South Korean media. It is thought to be the first death connected to the doctor strikes, in which residents and interns oppose government plans to increase the number of doctors because they fear more competition. With limited staffing, emergency rooms have been under a lot of strain. According to the local media, patients had to be moved to different hospitals and surgeries had to be rescheduled.

 

Surgery postponed due to doctors’ departure from South Korea
At hundreds of hospitals around the nation, over 10,000 doctors have tendered their resignations, and over 9,000 doctors have refused to report to work. Since interns and residents form up the majority of the rank-and-file staff in emergency rooms, their absence has been felt greatly, forcing hospitals, according to officials, to function in contingency. The nation declared the healthcare system to be in the greatest state of crisis last week. Officials are threatening to take legal action as the protests have turned into a heated political standoff. If doctors did not return by the end of the month, the government threatened to use its legislative authority to revoke their licenses to practice medicine on Tuesday.

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