Strike Threat From Fans Of South Korean Doctors Fears Of Vaccine Launch Interruption By Reuters

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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A medical worker checks the doors inside the Mobile Clinic Module outside the Korea Cancer Center Hospital in Seoul 2/2

By Sangmi Cha SEOUL (Reuters) – Doctors in South Korea have threatened a protest strike against legislation to strip them of their licenses following criminal convictions, sparking fears about a possible halt to a coronavirus vaccination effort which will start this week. Healthcare workers will receive the first batch of the AstraZeneca (NASDAQ 🙂 vaccine starting Friday as South Korea seeks to protect 10 million high-risk people by July, on track to achieve herd immunity in November. But over the weekend, the Korean Medical Association (KMA), the largest group of doctors, said it would go on strike if parliament passes the bill to revoke the licenses of doctors receiving jail time. “The bill could result in ordinary and innocent doctors being stripped of their licenses and falling into hell due to an accident that has nothing to do with their job or a lack of legal knowledge,” said spokesman Kim. Dae-ha in a statement Monday. . The association’s president, Choi Dae-zip, called the bill “cruel” and said its passage would “destroy” current cooperation with the government to treat the virus and carry out the vaccination campaign. However, a date for the strike has not yet been set, the KMA told Reuters. The standoff fueled concerns that any doctors’ strike could delay deployment as authorities are scrambling to assign medical personnel to some 250 vaccination centers and 10,000 clinics across the country. Discord over the bill was undesirable before the launch of the vaccine, the Health Ministry said, adding that the doctors’ association was suffering from a “misunderstanding” about it. Parliament has been trying to revise the Medical Services Act to prohibit doctors guilty of violent crimes, such as sexual abuse and murder, from practicing their skills. The ruling party lawmakers who were pushing the bill denounced the association, saying it was trying to “take public health hostage to maintain impunity for heinous crimes.” The group of nearly 140,000 has a long history of disputes over medical policy with the government. Many hospitals were left without staff during the pandemic last year when he headed for weeks-long strikes over plans to increase the number of medical students, build medical schools, facilitate insurance coverage and increase telemedicine options. South Korea reported 332 new virus infections as of Sunday, bringing its count to 87,324 and a death toll to 1,562. (Interactive graphical tracking of the global spread of coronavirus: https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps)

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