KHMU Info No. 2] KHMU will develop Four OUT campaign in 2018

by KANG,YeonBae posted Mar 29, 2018


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KHMU will develop Four OUT campaign in 2018

The actual conditions survey on human rights violations and abuse of power cases revealed, “Half of workers in healthcare organizations experienced verbal abuse.”

 According to the actual conditions survey, half of hospital workers had gone through verbal violence. Even worse, 3 out of 10 said that they had been bullied in the workplace.

The Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union (KHMU, President Na Sun-ja) held a press conference at the union meeting room in Seoul on March 20 to share the results of the actual conditions survey on human rights violations and abuse of power practices within healthcare institutions.

The KHMU conducted the survey for two months from December 18, 2017 to March 28 of this year. A total of 11,662 union members responded to the survey: 7,703 nurses, 1,970 technicians, 718 administrative staff, 648 nurse assistants and another 624 hospital workers.

The actual conditions survey found that around 31.2% of respondents experienced a  ‘bullying culture’, compared to 56.2% who heard violent and abusive language and experienced verbal abuse. In addition, around 10.9% of respondents suffered sexual harassment and violence, while 7.6% experienced physical violence.



Around 46.1% of union members said, “we were forced to join in talent shows, sports activities, academic symposia and other hospital events.” The nurses’ talents show last year gained attention from the rest of the society as a possible social issue because of the conduct required by the Hallym University Hospital. Around 25.3% of the respondents said they had to sing or dance in some events not relevant to their jobs, and 19.7% reported being forced to fill the glasses of other people at the table with alcohol.

Moreover, a good number of workers had to work on something unfairly and had to endure human rights’ violations, as 11.4% reported. For example, management inspected their locker rooms or monitored them by CCTV. Around 17.9% also noted being forced to do something irrelevant to their jobs such as bringing coffee to their bosses.




Eliminate the Corrosive Culture with Four OUT Campaign

President Na of the KHMU noted, “Since the year end in 2017, we have seen many accidents happening in hospitals. For instance, we have witnessed suggestive talent show at the Hallym University Medical Center, work with forced passion and without compensation of nurses at the Seoul National University Hospital, deaths of three newborn infants at the ICU for newborn babies of the Ewha Woman’s University Medical Center, fire at the Sejong Hospital that led 47 to death in Miryang City, suicide of a newly hired nurse at the Asan Medical Center and other tragedies.”

President Na said she was “shocked” at the results of the survey and added, “this year, the KHMU will be at the forefront in the fight against practices of abuse of power and improve human rights. Only if hospital workers feel comfortable and secure in the working environment can patients be safe. We at the KHMU will lead the movement to shape hospitals into places that ensure the safety of patients and respect workers’ labor.”

Regarding such problems, the KHMU stated that it would resolve the issues with ‘the four OUT campaign to guarantee hospitals where patients are safe and labor is respected’. The 4 in the four OUT includes bullying, (forced) free labor, a tricky hospital certification system, and an irregular workers’ system.


KHMU president Na Sun-ja @KHMU

The KHMU formed a tripartite taskforce team to create an hospital environment with three Rs(respect for patients, respect for workers, respect for labor). With this, the health workers’ union will reshape organizational culture in a systematic and consistent manner. In addition, it will develop a better model for night shift work and implement a pilot project to make hospitals more sustainable and predictable.

The KHMU attributed most of the problems in hospitals to a shortage in staffing. Hence, it will conduct a petition campaign to collect 200,000 signatures from the people of Korea, thereby enacting a law for healthcare personnel.

In November last year, society condemned the Hallym University Hospital for forcing nurses to participate in its October event. In an event organized by its foundation, nurses had to wear revealing clothes and dance suggestively. The hospital asked nurses to rehearse until 10 to 11 pm at night without any additional remuneration such as overtime pay. In response to these abuses, the KHMU organized a union at the hospital.



Recently, the Me Too campaign has been going viral. A number of victims of sexual violence have begun to raise their voices.

Since March 8, World Women’s Day, the KHMU also began to launch the <Zero Sexual Harassment and Violence> campaign at each branch level.

See the articles at English page;


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