Our fight for Jinju Medical Center continues over 100 days

by 교선실장 posted Jun 04, 2013
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KHMU INFO 3 June, 2013

Our fight for Jinju Medical Center continues over 100 days

“KHMU struggle for Life before Money”

 

Over 100 days civic groups and opposition parties have struggled against the shutdown of Jinju Medical Center. While Jinju Medical Center has been one of representative public healthcare providers for the population of South Gyeongsang Province, the provincial governor, Hong Joon-pyo unilaterally announced to shut down the medical center on 26 February with the reason of financial difficulties.

 

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KHMU has led the struggle for defending the Jinju Medical Center in the spirit of "Health for All" with civic groups and opposition parties.  KHMU, national union with 43,000 members, has organized a series of press conferences, rallies, demonstrations, hunger strikes, hair-shaving strikes and "occupy" struggles. KHMU president, sister Yoo Ji-hyun shaved her hair as part of the struggle. Also, she joined the hunger strikes in 23 and 29 May. During the last three days of the hunger struggle, she did not drink even a drop of water.

 

Many members of the parliament (the National Assembly) visited the struggling place of Jinju Medical Center to show their support and solidarity for the struggle. Even the Minister of Health and Welfare (of the central government) expressed his negative position on the shutdown.

 

However, the provincial government officially declared the shutdown of Jinju Medical Center. If the provincial assembly passed its regulation to approve the shutdown between 11 and 18 June, the procedure to close down the medical center would be completed.

 

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 Yoo, Ji-Hyun President of KHMU

 

The public opinions have been very critical to the stubborn position of the provincial government across the nation. On 31 May the National Assembly agreed to hold a special investigation on this case under the name of "normalization of public healthcare".

 

At the moment, 3 patients are still remaining and 70 KHMU members are continuing their struggles inside the medical center. Civic groups are planning to organize supportive solidarity actions with the slogan of "Life before Money" on 8 June.

 

Jinju Medical Center was established in 1910 and operates 470 beds as a general hospital, located in Jinju city of South Gyeongsang province. It is a public healthcare provider run by South Gyeongsang Provincial government. At the moment, 70 KHMU members are continuing their struggle.

 

Korean Health & Medical Workers Union (KHMU) is the largest trade union in healthcare sector in Korea with 43,000 members working in 150 healthcare providers. KHMU is internationally affiliated to PSI and UNI.

 

Relevant newspaper articles (English)

http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/589942.html

http://koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2013/05/113_136584.html