South Korean Military Hospitals Open to Civilians During Doctors’ Strike

SEOUL — In response to the mass walkout of trainee doctors from general hospitals, South Korean Defense Minister Shin Won-sik urged military hospitals to provide active care to civilian patients. According to the Defense Ministry, during his visit to a military hospital in Daejeon, Shin highlighted the necessity for the military's medical system to safeguard the health and lives of both service members and the civilian population. This directive comes as thousands of young doctors initiated a strike on February 19, protesting against the government's plan to increase medical school admissions. Following the strike, emergency rooms in military hospitals nationwide have been fully opened to the public to mitigate concerns over emergency medical services. As of noon on Tuesday, military hospitals had treated 139 civilian patients.

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