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“Military Hospitals' prompt action essential to reduce disruptions in medical services”

Emergency medical services have been in effect for six days as per government directives

A total of 39 civilians received care in military hospitals' emergency rooms

To boost morale, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo made a supportive visit to the Armed Forces Capital Hospital

Around-the-clock emergency services were established at VHS medical centers


With a growing shortage of medical services due to

With a growing shortage of medical services due to protests by trainee doctors against the government's plan to increase medical school enrollments, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo (far left) visited the Armed Forces Capital Hospital on February 25. The hospital had opened its emergency rooms to civilians, where the Prime Minister received updates on the emergency services being provided.


On February 25, marking the sixth day of strikes by trainee doctors protesting against the government's plan to raise the medical school admissions quota, the government implemented urgent measures to mitigate the shortfall in medical services.


Specifically, starting February 20, the Defense Ministry made military hospital emergency wards available to civilian emergency cases, successfully providing care to 39 civilian patients by midday on February 25.


At the Armed Forces Capital Hospital, nineteen patients received treatment; Daejeon Hospital attended to eight; Yangju, Pocheon, Chuncheon, and Gangneung Hospitals each treated one; Hongcheon Hospital saw two patients; Armed Forces Seoul Center District Hospital helped four; and the Maritime Medical Center treated two. Of these, 25 were civilians, 11 were military family members, and three were retired veterans.


During his visit to the Armed Forces Capital Hospital, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo praised the military's efforts and offered encouragement to the hospital's medical staff following a briefing on the emergency treatment procedures. Additionally, he took the time to meet with and offer comfort to the families of patients who were in surgery at the hospital, and he discussed the challenges that the government needs to address.


Prime Minister Han emphasized that the citizens are the ones facing hardships, and the proactive emergency measures taken by military hospitals are crucial in easing the public's worries. He highlighted the significant reassurance that public medical facilities, including military hospitals, provide to the community. Therefore, he requested continued patience and endurance during this period.


Emergency rooms were made available at 12 out of 15 military hospitals, including the Armed Forces Capital Hospital, Daejeon, Seoul Center District, Goyang, Yangju, Pocheon, Chuncheon, Hongcheon, and Gangneung hospitals, along with the Maritime Medical Center, Pohang Naval Hospital, and the Air Force Aerospace Medical Center.


To facilitate access, these military hospitals streamlined their entry procedures, allowing patient ID checks to be conducted without requiring individuals to leave their vehicles, and augmented their staff with additional assistants. Furthermore, they expanded their administrative teams to better manage computer systems for patient reception and the issuance of medical records.


The Defense Ministry is committed to preserving public health and safeguarding lives until a return to stability is achieved.


Additionally, six Korea Veterans Health Service (VHS) medical centers, overseen by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, have initiated 24-hour emergency medical services.


Every VHS medical center has set up communication links with adjacent university hospitals and fire stations for efficient handling of emergency patient transfers. Furthermore, an emergency response team, comprising representatives from the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, the Korea Veterans Health Service, and affiliated hospitals, has been activated to coordinate and address emergency situations.


Starting February 26, the Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, Kang Jung-ai, along with the Vice Minister, Lee Hee-wan, will conduct visits to each hospital to offer encouragement to the medical teams who are providing care to the families of veterans and other citizens. Prior to this, on February 21, Minister Kang made a visit to the VHS Medical Center in Gangdong-gu, Seoul, where she reviewed the emergency medical services system.


To reduce medical inconveniences for veterans' families, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs has published a list of designated hospitals on both its own website and that of the Korea Veterans Health Service. However, the Ministry noted that the specific services and support provided by these hospitals may vary by VHS facility, advising patients to verify details with their local Patriots and Veterans Affairs Regional Offices or VHS hospitals.


Minister Kang emphasized that amid the collective action by trainee doctors opposing the government's proposed expansion of medical school admissions, six VHS hospitals across the nation have implemented emergency medical service systems to prevent any disruption in medical services. Additionally, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs is committed to mobilizing all available resources to ensure continued care for veterans' families and citizens.

By Chae-Mu, Im < > 

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