KHMU plans to go on a nation-wide strike against the privatization of healthcare system
“Resignation of President Park Geun-hye”
“Stop to healthcare privatization”
Korean Health & Medical Workers’ Union (KHMU) held its national executive committee in 15 and 16 January with 250 key unionists in Cheonan city. In the committee meeting KHMU decided to stop the government policy to privatize the healthcare system by its all-out struggle including a nation-wide strike.
KHMU resolved to organize a national campaign to stop the privatization of healthcare driven by the government, to defend democratic trade union movement, and to pressurize Park Geun-hye administration to step down.
Yoo Ji-hyun (KHMU president) said, “Healthcare is not a commodity. KHMU has struggled for the patients’ right, healthcare reform, peoples’ right to health and ‘health for all.’ Now, KHMU must react to the people’s call to stop the privatization of healthcare system in the country!”
KHMU is staring the one-million signature collection movement against the privatization of healthcare system. Also, KHMU is going to mobilize its 2000 members into the national strike (organized by Korean Confederation of Trade Unions) dated on 25 February and to develop its political tactics in response to the coming June local elections. Finally, KHMU is planning to start its nation-wide strike in June, if the government push ahead its policy to privatize the healthcare system.
Recently, the Korean government announced its plan to privatize and commercialize the healthcare system under the name of investment activation in healthcare industry. According to the government plan, firstly, the remote medical examination by telecommunication equipment would be permitted, which is expected to result in the increase of misdiagnosis and medical accidents. Also, the remote examination would cause the economic collapse of health clinics who have played key roles in primary healthcare.
Secondly, hospitals are allowed to establish their subsidiary companies where external investors can make a direct investment. Also, merger and acquisition among hospitals are allowed. As a result, hospitals are expected to concentrate on making money rather than to care patients. Also, job security of hospital workers would be undermined, resulting in worsening the quality of healthcare service.
Photo: KHMU national executive committee held in Cheonan city on 15 and 16 January 2014.