SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korean doctors in the fields of Korean medicine and Western medicine are clashing over ‘Moon Jae-in Care’, an initiative to expand national health insurance coverage to include ultrasounds and MRI scans.
In a statement, the Association of Korean Medicine, a group representing doctors of traditional Korean medicine, condemned doctors who staged a protest against President Moon’s new health care policy over the weekend, calling their actions ‘extremely selfish’.
“Doctors (of Western medicine) irresponsibly took to the street and went on strike to oppose a system or a policy that isn’t in their personal best interest,” the association said, while citing boycotts of vaccinations for children and seniors due to lack of financial support as an example of selfishness.
The Association of Korean Medicine is behind Moon’s new health care reform proposals for a number of reasons.
When Moon Jae-in Care passes, national health insurance coverage will expand for Korean medicine, cutting down personal expenses for patients and encouraging more people to visit traditional Korean medicine clinics.
Another reason is that traditional Korean medicine doctors could potentially be permitted to use certain medical devices depending on how Moon’s new healthcare reform pans out, dealing a serious blow to the Western medicine industry.
Against this backdrop, the Association of Korean Medicine is lending strong support to the government, with the hope of tipping the conversation around the government’s dementia and infertility treatment reform in its favor.
In a series of scathing attacks, the group representing Korean medicine doctors accused the medical industry of prolonging the process to gain time to block Korean medicine doctors from being allowed to use medical devices.
The Korean Medical Association, a group that opposes Moon’s healthcare reforms, denied the accusations of selfishness and addressed the criticism facing doctors.
Lee Pil-soo, an official from the Korean Medical Association, argued that opposition to Korean medicine doctors using medical devices revolves around concerns that only well-trained experts should be permitted to deal with X-ray and ultrasound devices to provide quality medical services to the public, and denied having any other agenda.
“Beginning with the rally, we plan to raise our voices strongly going forward, so as to push the government’s healthcare policy in the right direction,” Lee said.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)