Joint Statement by the International Participants of the Staff Nurse Assembly of the National Nurses United, USA.
We call on the President of South Korea, Park Keun Hae to take the leadership in defending the health of people of South Korea by decisively reopening the JinJu Medical Center and adopt a policy to strengthen the Public Health Structure.
We the undersigned representatives of 14 countries demand immediate reopening of the 103 years old public hospital called JinJu Medical Center which was closed by governor Joon Pyo, Hong based on austerity policy and anti union sentiments.
Given the fact that OECD member counties have average of 60% of pubic health, South Korea has less than 10%, it is appalling to force a closure of an important public hospital using lack of fund and/or debt as excuses. Furthermore, to blaming the labor union as ‘radical’ or ‘aristocratic’ in an attempt to destroy a democratic union and wholesale fire union members, should not take place in democratic society. Reopening of the JinJu Medical Center and strengthening of the public health in South Korea is a demand of the International Community. Governor Hong Joon Pyo and the New World Party supporters should respect the wishes of the International call for the following:
1. The process and decision and the reasoning for forced shut down of the JinJu Medical Center should be null and void. Governor Hong Joon Pyo should rescind its decision to close the hospital and reinstate all workers who were unjustly terminated. The governor should begin a good faith negotiation with Korean Health and Medical Workers Union to this end.
2. The Government and Assembly of Republic of Korea should use its maximum authority and parliamentary probes to thoroughly investigate the violations committed in making the decision to close the hospital, and punish all those related with violations, if found guilty, and establish a concrete means to support the public hospital fully, including the JinJu Medical Center.
3. Austerity Policy undermines the rights of workers for full and quality healthcare and destroys social network. Public hospitals need adequate funding and not closures. President Park should follow through on her campaign promises and establish a policy and resources adequate to support and strengthen Public Health System.
If our just demands are not met that include immediate reopening of JinJu Medical Center with adequate funding and reinstatement of unjustly terminated workers, we will take following actions:
1. We will visit the Republic of Korean’s Embassy or Consulates in our respective Countries and let the media know of the truth in regards to this matter.
2. On July 12, 2013, we will take joint international action to call for JinJu Medical Center and strengthening public health in Korea.
3. We pledge to work closely with our Sisters and Brothers of the Korean Health and Medical Workers Union and support their call for reopening of JinJu Medical Center, Strengthening Public Healthcare to attain Safe and Quality healthcare of all patients, and full institutionalization of the public health system.
June 22, 2013
Representatives of the following unions participating in the initial GNU meeting
Argentina – Federación Sindical de Profesionales de la Salud de la República Argentina
Australia – Australian Nursing Federation, ANF Victoria Branch, New South Wales Nurses and Midwives Association, Queensland Nurses Union
Brazil – Sindicato dos Enfermeiros, Sindicato dos Enfermeiros of São Paulo
Canada – Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, United Nurses of Alberta, Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec
Costa Rica – Associacion Nacional de Profesionalies en Enfermeria
Dominican Republic – Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Enfermeria
Guatemala – Sindicato Nacional de los Trabadores de Salud de Guatemala
Honduras – Asociation Nacional de Enfermeras/os Auxiliares de Honduras
Ireland – Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation
Israel – National Association of Nurses
Philippines – Alliance of Health Workers
South Africa – Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa
South Korea – Korean Health and Medical Workers Union
United States – National Nurses United