Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Cancel Anytime
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99per week for the first 24weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Doctors hold signs criticizing the South Korean government's health policy at a hospital in Seoul on Aug. 26, 2020.

LIm Hun-jung/The Associated Press

South Korea’s top medical body faced a rift on Friday after trainee doctors rejected a deal by its leader to end a two-week-old strike, although the government backed down from reform plans aimed at averting future epidemics.

Some of the trainees vowed to continue the walkout by about 16,000 interns and resident doctors to oppose the government measures, such as increasing the number of doctors and building public medical schools, among others.

The strike has hindered efforts to damp a new wave of coronavirus infections, with 198 new cases on Thursday taking the nation’s tally to 20,842, with 331 deaths, while a surge in critical cases led to a dearth of hospital beds.

Story continues below advertisement

COVID-19 news: Updates and essential resources about the pandemic

When do schools reopen? Do I have to wear a mask indoors? A guide to COVID-19 rules across Canada

How many coronavirus cases are there in Canada, by province, and worldwide? The latest maps and charts

The government says its initiative could help tackle similar crises in future, but the doctors say it would merely swell their numbers in cities, without improving medical services and work conditions in rural provinces.

Lim Hyun-taek, a senior official of the Korean Medical Association (KMA), said he had filed a non-confidence motion against its president, Choi Dae-zip, who signed the pact, for not holding sufficient consultations with members.

“We were not informed of the agreement at all,” said Park Ji-hyun, the head of the Korean Intern Resident Association, adding that the deal fell short of its demands.

In a statement, a third group of doctors affiliated to the KMA demanded Choi’s resignation.

Telephone calls to the association to seek comment went unanswered, but earlier Choi said his decision was not unilateral.

Dozens of trainees, some wearing surgical gowns, protested at a parliament building, waving banners condemning the “hasty agreement”.

Choi had urged the trainees to return to work after he signed the deal with Health Minister Park Neung-hoo to end the strike.

Story continues below advertisement

“Our shared goals of improving work conditions and building a reasonable medical system cannot be achieved by a strike alone,” Choi said in a statement.

Park said the government would halt the proposed reforms and discuss them again with the healthcare industry and parliament once the virus outbreak had stabilised.

South Korea has ordered another week of social distancing curbs for the region around the capital, Seoul, until Sept. 13, although Thursday’s daily caseload fell below 200 for the first time in more than two weeks.

Park said tougher social distancing rules imposed last week needed more time to show results, adding that bakery and ice cream franchises must adopt on-site dining curbs from Sunday.

Sign up for the Coronavirus Update newsletter to read the day’s essential coronavirus news, features and explainers written by Globe reporters and editors.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies