The Healthcare Reform Debate: Court Rulings and the Government’s Position

On May 16, 2024, an important public discourse was announced at the Seoul Government Complex. The talk was to convey the government’s position on the Seoul High Court’s ruling on an administrative injunction appeal filed by 18 medical professors, doctors, medical students, and examinees.


Background of the incident

The case began on February 6, 2024, when the Secretary of Health and Human Services decided to increase the number of medical school seats nationwide by 2,000 for the class of 2025. The decision was to increase the number of medical school seats by 2,000 per year for five years for a total of 10,000. Then, on March 20, 2024, the Minister of Education announced the funding decisions for each region and university.

However, 18 people, including medical professors, resident physicians, medical students, and examinees, questioned the legality of the decision and asked the court to temporarily halt the administrative process.

Court decisions

The Seventh Administrative Division of the Seoul High Court issued a decision in the case, which was affirmed in part and dismissed in part. The tribunal dismissed the case on the grounds that the applicants lacked standing and, in the case of the medical student applicants, dismissed the claims as meritless. The judiciary’s decision upheld the government’s position.

Government position

The government says it is deeply grateful for the ruling and respects the judiciary’s wise judgment. He also noted that the incident served as a reminder of the healthcare workforce shortage we face as a society and how to address it.

Expanding the healthcare workforce is an essential step in protecting the public’s health, and the government is taking a long-term view. By gathering diverse opinions and conducting the process transparently and fairly, the government said it will continue to promote policies for the health of the people.

Future plans and a call for the public’s help

The government will use this ruling to recognize the importance of expanding the medical workforce and work to build a social consensus. To this end, we have asked for the active cooperation and understanding of medical professors, specialists, medical students, and examinees. The government emphasized that the health of its citizens is its top priority and that it will continue to communicate and work together to find the best solutions.

With this ruling, the government asks for the public’s unwavering support and cooperation, and promises to do its best to promote policies for the health of the people.

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