KMA President says 20 to 30 parliamentary seats will be influenced by group

Mar 29, 2024, 10:45 am

print page small font big font

facebook share

tweet share

Lim Hyuk-taek, the newly elected president of the Korean Medical Association (KMA), files a complaint against Minister of Health and Welfare Cho Kyu-hong and Vice Minister Park Min-soo on charges of abuse of authority and obstruction of exercise of rights on March 19, 2024. / Source: Yonhap News

AsiaToday reporter Ji Hwan-hyuk

The newly elected president of the Korean Medical Association (KMA) Lim Hyun-taek threatened the political circle and the government by taking patients as hostage ahead of the April 10 general election. Criticism is mounting over the fact that Lim, who had opposed the government’s medical reform by taking the people’s lives and health hostage, had a media interview in which he expressed arrogance that he could influence patients’ minds. Park Min-soo, the second vice minister of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, defined the medical crisis as a “fight between the people and privileged groups.”

“Since doctors meet many patients all the time, they can control the votes of patients. We have a strategy that will determine the outcome of 20 to 30 seats in the National Assembly,” Lim said during the media interview on Thursday. “It is my top priority to resolve the issue over the medical school admissions quota and essential medical policy package,” he said, adding that he will fight using various means, depending on the response from the government and the ruling party, while vowing to lead an election campaign that can deal a “crushing blow” to the ruling party. 

Citing Ahn Sang-hoon, former senior presidential secretary for social affairs, and Kim Yoon, a professor at Seoul National University College of Medicine, who already received nomination letters, Lim threatened that the ruling People Power Party and the main opposition Democratic Party should cancel their nomination letters. Lim pointed out that the two candidates are the ones that created the government’s plan to increase the annual enrollment quota by 2,000.

Regarding the general strike, Lim said he has completed a legal review, adding that the group will start a general strike using the most powerful means if any disadvantages or administrative punishment is taken against doctors, professors, and students. 

Many point out that Lim’s remarks will only worsen the situation where patients’ suffering is aggravated by prolonged confrontation between doctors and the government. At this time when medical professors are out of the medical field following trainee doctors, even severely ill patients are not receiving treatment in time. 

“The hospital says it will arrange schedule for the surgery immediately when the situation is resolved, but I am very confused that professors left following trainee doctors,” said a 53-year-old patient whose cancer surgery has been postponed indefinitely. 

#KMA #Lim Hyun-taek 
Copyright by Asiatoday