World Medical Association Stands Firm in Support of Korean Medical Association Amid Government-Induced Crisis

The World Medical Association (WMA) reaffirms its commitment to defending the integrity of the Korean Medical Association (KMA) and the rights of its physicians in the face of an unprecedented government-led crisis. The government’s unilateral decision to drastically increase medical student admissions, implemented without clear evidence, has led to turmoil in the medical community.

WMA has been closely monitoring the situation in Korea, receiving constant updates. KMA views the government’s claims about physicians resisting policies as lacking sufficient consultation and consensus with expert groups. The right to collective action is universal, and guidelines are in place to ensure patient safety remains paramount during any collective action taken by physicians. Actions taken by the government are ignoring the harsh reality of medical interns and residents, facing constant burn out due to long working hours, low salaries and a negative portrayal in the media led by misinformation.

Physicians, including medical students and young doctors, are peacefully practicing their rights within the boundaries of democratic law and constitution. The government’s attempts to prevent personal resignations and restrict conditions of school admissions are viewed as potential violations of human rights, setting a dangerous precedent in the country.

“I strongly urge the Korean government to reconsider its actions and cease the forceful measures imposed on the medical community. The principles of justice, human rights, and ethical healthcare demand a collaborative approach. A resolution should respect the rights of physicians and ensures the well-being of both medical professionals and the patients they serve.”, said WMA President, Dr. Lujain Al-Qodmani.