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Largest association of S.Korean doctors may stage walkout on June 20

Seoul, June 8: Medical doctors and professors in South Korea may stage a walkout later this month in protest against the government’s recent decision to hike medical school admissions, sources said on Saturday. As per the sources, Korean Medical Association (KMA), the largest doctors’ organisation with over 1,29,000 members, may stage a walkout on June 20, pending the outcome of a recent vote, Yonhap news agency reported. More than 70,000, or 54.8 per cent, of KMA members, took part in the vote held for four days since Tuesday, they said.

The KMA is yet to disclose the outcome of the vote, saying it will be revealed at a meeting to be held on Sunday. However, the association has noted that Sunday’s meeting will mark “the largest collective action in history” where professors, paid doctors, and practitioners will agree to act with the same purpose. Sunday’s meeting also comes after doctors at four major hospitals affiliated with Seoul National University decided to stage a walkout from June 17.

The potential walkout by doctors comes after the government finalised its plan to raise admissions quotas at medical schools by some 1,500, marking the first such hike in 27 years. Thousands of trainee doctors have stayed away from their jobs since the government announced its plan to hike the medical school admission quota earlier this year.

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