Presidential Office: Yoon and Lee agree medical schools’ admissions quota expansion inevitable

Apr 30, 2024, 11:27 am

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President Yoon Suk-yeol and Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung hold a meeting at the presidential office in Seoul on April 29, 2024./ Source: Presidential Office

AsiaToday reporter Hong Sun-mi

President Yoon Suk-yeol and Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung agreed on Monday on the need to reform the medical system, including expansion of medical school admissions. 

On giving 250,000 won (US$182) in cash handouts to the entire population, DP leader proposed the government distribute the cash in the form of local business vouchers so the benefit can be felt directly by small business owners and other vulnerable groups.

On the reform of the public pension, Yoon asked the National Assembly while Lee asked the government to set a direction, showing differences of opinion on the solution. 

The two sides agreed to engage in regular dialogue and actively communicate in the future. 

The meeting lasted around two hours and ten minutes. It marks the first time Yoon has held official talks with the DP leader. 

Lee Do-woon, senior presidential secretary for public relations, said in a briefing, “President Yoon and DP leader Lee shared the view that medical reform is necessary and that it is necessary to increase admissions to medical schools.” The DP leader said that the president’s policy is in the right direction and that medical reform is an urgent task, vowing for the main opposition party’s cooperation.

Regarding a special bill for the Itaewon tragedy suggested by Lee, the president said he is not completely against the bill but its current version poses “legal” issues that need to be resolved. 

Yoon expressed his negative stance on supporting for a subsidy of 250,000 won per person.

“President Yoon said that it is desirable to support those in need more effectively in the current situation, considering the impact of inflation, interest rates, and financial conditions,” the presidential secretary said.

“They shared the perception that people’s livelihood is the most important political and policy issue,” the secretary said, adding, “However, there is a policy difference between the presidential office and the opposition party on how to improve people’s livelihoods.”

On the other hand, DP leader Lee said that he was “frustrated and disappointed” about the meeting, adding, “I will put meaning on the fact that we opened the first chapter of communication.”

#Yoon Suk-yeol #Lee Jae-myung #meeting 
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