Nationwide Doctor Rallies to Protest Medical School Quota Increase

SEOUL — This week, doctors across the country are set to stage massive rallies in protest against the government's decision to increase the enrollment quota for medical schools, a move aimed at addressing the chronic shortage of healthcare professionals in rural and critical care sectors.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the main lobbying group representing doctors, the nationwide protests are scheduled for Thursday, marking the first collective action since the association declared an emergency in response to the health ministry's announcement.

Last week, the health ministry unveiled a plan to raise the number of medical student admissions by 2,000 next year, bringing the total to over 5,000. This decision is part of the government's strategy to tackle the persistent lack of doctors in underserved areas and essential health care fields. In retaliation, doctors have threatened to initiate a large-scale strike, signaling a deepening rift between medical professionals and policy makers.

As of now, specific details about the upcoming rallies, including the expected number of participants, remain undisclosed. The KMA is also considering convening a meeting with doctor representatives from across the nation to deliberate on subsequent actions. Meanwhile, the government has expressed its intention to firmly address any collective actions taken by doctors, indicating potential conflicts ahead as both sides stand firm on their positions.

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