Yoon calls for ‘reasonable’ proposal on med school admissions increase

Apr 02, 2024, 09:43 am

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President Yoon Suk-yeol delivers an address on the government’s medical reform plans at the presidential office in Seoul on April 1, 2024./ Source: Presidential Office

AsiaToday reporter Hong Sun-mi

President Yoon Suk-yeol called on doctors Monday to propose “more reasonable and rational” measures regarding the medical school admissions quota hike, saying the government will be open to talks. 

Yoon expressed a flexible position for the first time, saying that the 2,000-person increase can be discussed through dialogue, amid little sign of a breakthrough in a standoff between the government and the medical community over the admissions quota hike.

“The government is always open to talks. If better opinions and reasonable grounds are presented, the government’s policy can be changed in a better direction,” Yoon said in an address to the nation at the Presidential Office in Yongsan.

“If the medical community wants to argue for reducing the size of the increase, it is only right for them to suggest a unified proposal to the government, with a clear and scientific basis, and not take collective action,” Yoon said.

Yoon opened up the possibility of adjusting the number on the premise of a “reasonable single plan,” pointing out that the medical community is proposing various numbers without any basis.

“The number 2,000 is not just a number. It is a minimum increase the government came up with thorough calculations. It followed sufficient and wide-ranging discussions with the medical community, including doctors’ groups, until the discussion was reached,” Yoon said. 

Yoon reaffirmed his will to carry out medical reforms, saying, “Over the last 27 years, no government has been able to achieve medical reforms, including the increase of quota, which 90 percent of the people agree with.”

He also proposed a new social consultative body involving the people, the medical community, and the government, stressing that he would make more efforts to communicate with the public to realize medical reforms.

Meanwhile, Sung Tae-yoon, presidential director of national policy, explained that the number 2,000 is not “absolute” and the government is ready to talk with the medical community. “The government will not adhere to the number 2,000 and can change its policies for the better if there are better ideas and reasoning, including the scale of medical school expansion,” he said during a televised interview later in the day.

#medical school admissions increase #Yoon Suk-yeol 
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