SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Korea Bizwire) – Following a series of misconduct reports, the government has announced plans to improve working conditions for nurses and interns.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, a ministers’ conference was held by Deputy Prime Minister Kim Sang-gon on Friday to discuss ways to tackle the poor treatment of medical staff and violation of their basic rights.
The latest move by the government comes after reports of physical violence and sexual harassment against nurses and residents came to light, including the scandal at Hallym University Medical Center where female nurses were reportedly pressured into dancing suggestively to entertain male staff members.
As a first step, the government will distribute a response manual to help prevent human rights violations in the medical workplace, preparing workers for incidents such as physical assault.
Hospitals that knowingly turn a blind eye to or try to cover up incidents in which medical trainees’ rights are impinged on will face severe punishment, including fines, when the new policy takes effect.
In addition, changes will be made to the current rules regarding recruitment and training of nursing staff to help improve poor working conditions.
Other measures will follow to encourage the medical industry to solve the issues of poor treatment of nurses, including communications channels which will be set up through which misconduct reports can be filed.
“The government will continue efforts to prevent human rights violations in the medical workplace through policy reform, and help change the unhealthy culture and perception among medical staff,” said Gwak Soon-heon, a senior official at the health ministry.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)