Democratic Party Criticizes President Yoon Over Medical School Admission Quota Plan

SEOUL - The Democratic Party (DP), South Korea's main opposition party, has voiced strong criticism against President Yoon Suk Yeol for his stance on the contentious issue of increasing the medical school admission quota.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the party condemned the President's recent televised address to the nation, where he urged doctors to present a "unified proposal" on the quota increase and stated the government's willingness to engage in discussions, despite advocating for a minimum increase of 2,000 admissions.

The criticism stems from the ongoing strike by medical interns and residents, which began on February 20 in response to the government's proposal to raise the medical school enrollment quota from the current 3,058 to 5,058 starting next year. The strike has seen more than 90 percent of the country's 13,000 medical interns and residents resign en masse, leading to the cancellation of surgeries and treatments at major hospitals. Rep. Shin accused the Yoon administration of disregarding public opinion and focusing narrowly on the quota increase, which has resulted in significant disruptions to the medical sector.

The government has justified the proposed quota hike as a measure to prepare for the country's rapidly aging population, arguing that it will help increase the number of practicing doctors. However, the striking doctors and the DP argue that the plan overlooks critical issues such as work overload and the absence of incentives for doctors specializing in vital health care services, potentially deteriorating the quality of medical services in South Korea.

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