Police open investigation against leaders of doctors’ group over walkout

Police opened an investigation Wednesday against current and former leaders of a mainstream doctors' association on suspicions of instigating the ongoing mass walkout by trainee doctors. The investigation came as thousands of intern and resident doctors have stayed away from their job at general hospitals nationwide since Tuesday last week in their collective action protesting the government's plan to hike the medical school admission quota by 2,000 seats next year. The previous day, the health ministry filed a police complaint against the Korean Medical Association (KMA)'s emergency committee chief Kim Taek-woo; two others members of the KMA leadership; a former KMA chief; and Lim Hyeon-taek, the chief of the Korean Pediatric Society. The health ministry accused them of instigating the trainee doctors' mass resignations by expressing support and providing legal assistance. The ministry also raised charges of defying the government's back-to-work order and business obstruction against them, in its first legal action taken in connection with the walkout. Police on Wednesday assigned the case filed by the health ministry to the public crime investigation unit at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency for investigation, police officials said. Police have warned that those accused in connection with the walkout would face arrest if they defy police questioning without valid reason. Source: Yonhap News Agency