South Korea Government Announces Increase in Medical School Admissions Despite Protests: Impact on Healthcare Services 2025

2024-03-19 07:40:43

SEOUL, March 19 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s government is expected to announce the allocation of additional admission spots at medical schools this week, moving forward with the plan despite harsh protests from the doctors, some officials said this Tuesday.

Education Minister Lee Ju-ho is expected to make the announcement Wednesday afternoon following a public speech by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, according to officials.

The announcement of the scheduled allocation will mark the culmination of the highly resisted government plan to increase the enrollment quota in medical schools by 2,000 additional places, compared to the current 3,058, starting next year, in order to improve care services. healthcare in remote areas, as well as in essential but less popular medical disciplines.

More than 90 percent of the country’s 13,000 intern and resident doctors have walked away from their duties at general hospitals nationwide since last month to protest the quota increase, which they said would erode the quality of care. education and medical services and would lead to a surplus of doctors.

Medical professors at many universities have also decided to resign en masse next week.

The Government is expected to allocate 80 per cent, or 1,600 places, to medical schools outside the capital area, as previously announced.

The allocation, if carried out as planned, would increase the total admission places in medical schools outside the capital area to 3,623, representing 71.6 percent of the total, compared to the current 66.2 percent.

The increase is largely expected to mainly benefit medical schools at several state universities located in provincial areas, such as Pusan ​​National University and Chonnam National University, as well as small-sized medical schools in non-capital areas, such as the University of Ulsan.

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Once the allocation process is complete, each affected university will have the new medical student quota reflected in its school regulations, as well as in its medical school admission announcement for the 2025 academic year, which will be announced to students around May.


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