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Court dismisses med professors’ request to avert expansion plan

April 2, 2024 - 19:06 By Park Jun-hee
A patient leans on a hospital wall (Yonhap)

The Seoul Administrative Court on Tuesday dismissed an injunction request filed by 33 representatives of the Medical Professors Association of Korea against the government’s planned hike in medical school enrollment quotas, as well as the administrative lawsuit against the health and education ministers, respectively.

The court said in its ruling that the medical professors are not eligible to file an injunction request, but the presidents of universities can. The economic damage asserted by the professors due to the increase in the number of doctors and the benefits that Korean people would gain from stopping the government's expansion plan is also abstract.

The court ruling was the first after a slew of medical community members filed lawsuits to try to reverse the expansion plan.

In February, a trainee doctor sued Health Minister Cho Kyoo-hong and Second Vice Health Minister Park Min-soo for obstruction of business and threatening doctors after the government said that it would take legal action against junior doctors who left their workplaces.

Earlier last month, the medical professors sued the government over the expansion plan, claiming that the decision was made without heeding the opinions of the medical circle. They also took action against the health and education ministers, explaining that they should be held accountable for pushing the plan.

On Monday, students from 40 medical schools nationwide followed suit by filing a separate lawsuit against the government to prevent the addition of 2,000 seats starting next year.

Amid the continued standoff, the presidential office Tuesday afternoon said in a message to reporters that President Yoon Suk Yeol is open to talking with trainee doctors and hearing their voices.