South Korean President Vetoes Salary Increase Law, Thousands of Nurses Strike. PHOTOS/Reuters
SEOUL – Thousand South Korean nurse (South Korea) did strike on Friday (19/5/2023). They took this action after President Yoon Suk-yeol vetoed a law to increase their salaries and working conditions.
As Reuters reports, the move was taken by President Yoon amid protests from doctors and nursing assistants who feared the law would interfere with their jobs.
The bill passed the opposition-led parliament last month, after protests from some medical workers who said the new law would open the door for nurses to provide care without a medical license.
The nurse said doctors’ claims were baseless and the country needed more treatment centers to cope with its rapidly aging population.
In vetoing the bill, Yoon said the new law caused excessive conflict among medical workers and the practice of nursing outside medical institutions would cause public anxiety for the health care system.
The impact of the strike so far appears to be limited, as most of the protesters are taking vacation time or shortening working hours, with major hospitals operating normally.
Nurses criticized the president’s veto, claiming that the new law was only aimed at providing a legal basis to improve their working conditions, not opening doors for them to practice medicine.
Nurses in South Korea have long invoked a separate nursing law to clearly define staffing levels and protect them from performing tasks outside their job description.