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Lawyer Lee Byung-cheol, representing doctors and students, is appealing to the Supreme Court in hopes of changing the decision before universities finalize their 2025 plans. Prime Minister Han Duck-soo expressed gratitude for the court’s ruling, believing it will help the government move forward with its reform plans for university admissions. The government intends to proceed with the reforms, despite the ongoing legal battle.

Junior doctors have continued to strike, rejecting the health ministry’s proposed scale back of the medical training reforms. They demand an end to the plan to create more doctors, claiming it will lead to irreversible changes in the healthcare system. The former head of the Korean Medical Association expressed disappointment in the court’s decision and warned of the potential deterioration of the healthcare system.

The striking doctors fear that the increase in medical schools will have negative consequences and are not willing to compromise on their demands. They believe that the reform plan, which is supported by the public, will only serve to benefit the government, rather than the healthcare system or the patients. Patients, particularly those with serious illnesses, are already experiencing stress and anxiety over the prolonged legal battle and potential impact on their medical care.

Despite the popular support for the reform plan, doctors remain adamant in their opposition. They argue that the government’s focus on creating more doctors is misguided and will only lead to further problems in the healthcare sector. The trainee doctors, crucial for emergency procedures and surgeries in general hospitals, are standing firm in their refusal to return to work.

The ongoing legal battle and the striking doctors’ insistence on opposing the reform plan have created uncertainty and tension in South Korea’s healthcare system. Patients, medical professionals, and government officials are at odds over the best way forward, with each side holding firm in their beliefs and priorities. The Supreme Court’s upcoming decision will have far-reaching implications for the future of medical education and healthcare in the country.

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