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KHMU info <3> June, 14, 2015

KHMU, “Save People’s Lives, Protect Workers’ Safety”


As of June 14, 2015,  4,856 Isolated, 145 Confirmed MERS Cases, 14 Died

 

Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union (KHMU) has kept an eye on the government’s response to the MERS outbreak since the first MERS confirmed case appeared on May 20, 2015. On 29, President Yoo visited the National Medical Center and announced a statement that the government should set up a comprehensive action plan at the state level. KHMU formed a special taskforce team to monitor the situations associated with spread of the respiratory virus nationwide.

 

On May 30, KHMU noted that the government failed in efficient initial response. It demanded the government to release the list of MERS-affected hospitals and districts and to upgrade the position of the MERS control tower.  

 

However, the government did not meet the demand. Instead, it announced that those who circulate groundless rumors about the viral disease would be punished.

 

The KHMU website has been posting updates in the newly built MERS situation board and around 120,000 citizens has so far visited the site. With interest, the press has reported KHMU’s response activities and the union has received a flood of interview requests.  

 

As more and more infected patients appeared and public criticism is getting bigger, the government eventually came to reveal the list of MERS affected hospitals and associated information for the first time on June 7.

 

But, such an action by the government only came in 90 days after the first confirmed case was reported and subjects to controls reached 2,000.

 

This shows that the government’s failure in initial response and easygoing attitude has been worsening the crisis.

 

Throughout three times of press conferences, KHMU has urged the government to have the Blue House function as a control tower; issue a general mobilization order nationwide; and set up an emergency support system for public healthcare organizations.

 

A total of 36 out of 122 confirmed cases came from Pyeongtaek St. Mary’s Hospital where the first MERS patient was reported while 68 from Samsung Seoul Hospital, which is run by Samsung Group notorious for union free management. The anti-union hospital currently shifts the responsibility to the government. Regarding this issue, the civil society has requested the government to conduct a broad epidemiologic investigation and control/manage the hospital, rather than defending it.

 

Under the circumstances, healthcare workers’ safety is more urgent than any other matters. One doctor was already infected, being currently in severe condition. The number of nurses in Korea is only a third of the OECD average. Facing the MERS outbreak, such a small number of nurses cannot help but to work overtime day and night for tens of days in a row.  Worse more, the public hospitals represent only 10% of the total healthcare facilities and private hospitals are unwilling to take MERS patients. Workers in public hospitals even work on installing temporary air -depressing equipment, as low-pressure isolation units are very short in the public facilities.   

 

Further more, security guards, caregivers and teenagers who are mostly working in irregular job positions are exposed to higher risk in such poor facility conditions. Combining all, KMNU has urged the government to take immediate and comprehensive measures. Also, the union now canceled all other official schedules. Distributing on-site safety manuals to the union members, the national level healthcare workers’ union has made its all-out effort to manage the current crisis under the slogan, “Save People’s Lives, Protect Workers’ Safety.”

 

To See More, Go To the KHMU Website:  http://bogun.nodong.org/english/


Ptesscon2.jpg

On June 5, KHMU press conference held in KHMU's office


PressCon.jpg

On June 11, KHMU and NGO's press conference held before the Blue House


Yoo,JIHyun.jpg

KHMU President Yoo Ji Hyun



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List of Articles
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127 Press Conference to Announce PSI's Position on the Sewol Ferry Tragedy file KANG.yb 2014.06.09 7602
126 June 11, Yoo Ji-Hyun, president of KHMU started to a hunger strike file KANG.yb 2014.06.14 2929
125 KHMU INFO<9> June 15, 2014. KHMU President Yoo Fasts to Protest Government Health Care Privatization Plan. file KANG.yb 2014.06.15 2326
124 KHMU Strike rally and march file 교육선전실장 2014.06.24 2990
123 The Korean Health and Medical Workers' Union (KHMU) are holding a series of strikes and rallies from 24 to 30 June. file 교육선전실장 2014.06.29 6532
122 Solidarity message from Phillip Jennings General Secretary of UNI Global unions to the Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union(KHMU) file 교육선전실장 2014.06.30 2739
121 KHMU 2nd Strike on July 22nd file 교육선전실장 2014.07.15 3123
120 KHMU second Strike file 교육선전실장 2014.07.26 2037
119 KHMU INFO<10> August 5, 2014 file 교육선전실장 2014.08.05 1715
118 KHMU 3rd Strike file 교육선전실장 2014.09.27 1496
117 7th KCTU leadership education and exchange in Asia Program file 교육선전실장 2014.09.29 1754
116 VIsited Vietnam National Union of Health Workers’ Union file 교육선전실장 2014.09.29 1674
115 Support for Cambodian garment workers from KHMU file 교육선전실장 2014.09.30 1619
114 When it comes to pregnancy, women being told to ‘wait their turn’ file 교육선전실장 2014.10.20 2033
113 Asia Pacific Forum on trade union rights: It is time for Action Now! file 교육선전실장 2014.11.03 1526
112 KHMU, support the PSI Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Aid Fund file 교육선전실장 2014.11.03 2093
111 KHMU INFO<11>President Yoo, Ji-Hyun Reelected with 93.7% Public Support: The First President Re-elected by the KHMU. file 교육선전실장 2014.11.28 2437
110 4th World Congress of UNI Global Union file 교육선전실장 2014.12.18 22050
109 KHMU INFO <1> January 21, 2015 “Yes! The very industry-based union that we have dreamt of” file 교육선전실장 2015.01.22 1456
108 KHMU joined the Right to strike campaign. file 교선실장 2015.02.20 2108
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