(LEAD) Doctors’ group offers to vote on walkout if gov’t accepts 3 demands

The country’s biggest doctors’ group offered Sunday to hold a vote on whether to go ahead with a mass walkout this week if the government accepts three demands, including revisiting the issue of increasing medical school admissions.

The Korean Medical Association (KMA) made the offer two days before it is scheduled to launch the walkout involving medical professors at the “Big 5” hospitals in Seoul, as well as community doctors.

The walkout will be in support of trainee doctors who have remained off the job since February in protest of the government’s medical school enrollment hike plan.

The KMA said it will give the government until 11 p.m. Sunday to respond to its three demands, which also include revising and supplementing key points in the government’s policy package for the essential medical services sector and canceling all penalties against the trainee doctors.

Should the government accept the demands, the KMA said it will hold a vote among all members Monday to decide whether to go ahead with Tu
esday’s walkout.

If the government refuses, it said it will stage the walkout as planned indefinitely.

The health ministry released a press statement calling for an unconditional stop to the protest and stressed that it is “inappropriate for the KMA to make policy demands to the government under the condition of an illegal walkout.”

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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