Trainee doctors of 5 major hospitals to submit resignations en masse by Monday

Trainee doctors of five major general hospitals in Seoul have decided to submit their letters of resignation en masse Monday, in a move certain to intensify their strike threat over a plan to boost the number of medical students, a group of trainee doctors has said. Friday's decision came after representatives of the trainee doctors ended an emergency meeting earlier in the day, according to the Korea Intern Resident Association. The trainee doctors at the five hospitals also decided to walk off the job at 6:00 a.m. next Tuesday, the association said. Doctors have warned of a massive strike and other responses in opposition to the government's decision announced last week to add 2,000 to the country's medical school enrollment quota next year, marking a sharp rise from the current 3,058 seats. The five hospitals are Asan Medical Center, Samsung Medical Center, Severance Hospital, Seoul National University Hospital and Seoul St. Mary's Hospital. In a bid to block a potential strike, the government has or dered training hospitals to reject such resignation letters from intern and resident doctors. Unless residents step down legally as doctors, they must return to work if the government issues an administrative order because doctors are classified as essential workers. Source: Yonhap News Agency