South Korean govt calls on universities to finalise medical school quota for 2025

Seoul, May 19 (IANS): The South Korean government, on Sunday, called on universities to quickly revise their regulations to reflect an increased medical school quota for 2025 in light of a court ruling that paved the way for the hike.

The comments made by Jang Sang-yoon, senior presidential secretary for social policy, came three days after the Seoul High Court rejected an injunction sought by the doctors' community to halt the government's plan to raise the nationwide medical school admission quota by 2,000, reports Yonhap News Agency.

"Taking note of this court ruling, we are relieved that uncertainty has been resolved for students and their parents who have been preparing for their university entrance anxiously," said Jang in a media briefing.

"The government will look to swiftly wrap up the necessary process for the 2025 academic year. I would ask each university to do their best to ensure there won't be issues with admissions for 2025," he added.

Trainee doctors, medical professors and students wanted to suspend the government's plan to increase the medical school quota. However, the Seoul High Court upheld an earlier decision by a lower court, on the grounds that the petitioners had no specific interests compromised by the quota hike and hence were ineligible for an injunction.

Jang said the latest court ruling recognised the legitimacy of the government's push to raise the medical school quota by illustrating the urgency of the need for the move and reaffirming the government's continuous research into the plan.

"Now that the matter of the medical school quota has been settled, I would ask trainee doctors to return to work, even if they may not be satisfied with some things, and to actively voice their opinions," Jang stated.

He also mentioned that the door to dialogue with "the government is always open. I'd like to suggest a meeting without any unrealistic preconditions, such as going back to square one".

The medical community has said it would appeal the Seoul High Court's ruling to the Supreme Court and demand swift deliberation, considering the gravity of the situation.

In March, the government allocated 2,000 additional medical school admission seats to universities, many of them to schools outside the greater Seoul area, despite trainee doctors' collective action to walk off their duties at major hospitals in protest.

About 20 legal actions have been taken by the doctors' community and medical students to halt the quota hike, but no court rulings have been made so far in favour of them.

An association of medical professors previously warned that it would initiate a one-week suspension of medical services and opt out of services one day every week if the court rejected the injunction.



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Title: South Korean govt calls on universities to finalise medical school quota for 2025

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