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Govt ready to discuss medical school quota hike in open manner: S Korean minister


Seoul, April 8: South Korean Health Minister Cho Kyoo-hong on Monday said that the government is ready to discuss the increased quota in medical school admissions with doctors in an open manner if they come up with a unified and more reasonable measure.

This comes as about 12,000 trainee doctors nationwide have left their workplaces since February 20 to protest the plan to increase medical school admissions by 2,000 seats next year, causing growing strains on public health services.

The additional 2,000 seats for medical schools are based on scientific research and discussion with the medical community, but Cho appeared to leave open the possibility of adjusting the size of the medical school quota hike, Yonhap reported.

"We intend to engage in sincere discussions with the medical community to persuade them and resolve the dispute," Cho told a government response meeting.

"If (doctors) come up with a more reasonable and unified proposal based on scientific grounds and logic, the government can discuss it in an open manner," he said.

The reform plan has emerged as a hot-button issue for this week's parliamentary elections, with the ruling People Power Party aiming to regain a majority in the National Assembly.

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