South Korea today raised, for the first time in the country’s history, the indicator on health services to the maximum level, due to the strike of intern doctors, in protest against government policies. Around 60 percent of intern doctors have been on strike for four days, forcing the cancellation or rescheduling of half of the surgeries in some hospitals in the country, against the Government’s plan to increase places in medical schools. In response, The Government today implemented several measures to mobilize personnel and resources, making the provision of telemedicine services mandatory in all medical centers and activating subsidies for the hiring of more temporary workers. The authorities have extended consultation hours in public hospitals and created four crisis management centers to manage the transport of seriously ill patients. This is after, on Tuesday, the emergency rooms of the 12 military hospitals were opened to the general public. The South Korean press reported cases of people who had to travel dozens of kilometers and wait hours to receive emergency care. , 8,897 intern doctors resigned and 7,863 of them (60 percent of those working in the country) effectively left their jobs, according to data released today by the Ministry of Health. On Wednesday, the Government of South Korea, which issued orders to inmates to return to work, announced that it intends to issue arrest orders and should also prosecute those who instigated the strike. At issue is a reform announced by South Korean President, Yoon Suk-yeol, which aims to increase the number of students admitted in medical schools by 65 percent, or more than 2,000 people per year, from 2025. The Government of South Korea justifies this measure as necessary to prepare the country for an increasingly elderly population. Around 44 percent of South Koreans will have more 65 years old in 2050, according to authorities’ projections. The Government calculates that there will be a shortage of 15 thousand doctors to meet the country’s needs by 2035 if nothing is done. But doctors oppose the project because they believe that admitting more students in medical schools will result in a drop in the professional level of future doctors and the quality of care will be harmed. (RM-NM)Source:Rádio Moçambique Online

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