Posted on 05/15/2022 23:36Modified on 05/15/2022 23:44


'Snatching of the Nursing Act'... The representatives of Korean Doctors to hold a rally on the 15th

The medical community outraged at the Democratic Party's 'snatching of the Nursing Act'... the representatives of Korean Doctors to hold a rally on the 15th
Welfare committee plenary meeting and judiciary committee pledged to fight vigorously due to snatching of the bill

[관련기사=전국 의사 대표자들 200여명 궐기대회 "간호법 철회될 때까지 강력 투쟁"(종합)]

[MedigateNews] The Nursing Act, which had been with held at the 1st Bill Subcommittee of the Health and Welfare Committee of the National Assembly on April 27, was passed urgently at the Review Subcommittee held on May 9.

The members of the subcommittee who attended were seven members from Democratic party and one member from People's Power who proposed the Nursing Act. However, the general meeting of the Welfare Committee was not held due to a lack of a quorum and was postponed. 

The medical community is in a state of anger as they tried to prevent the passing of the Nursing Act at the Welfare Committee plenary meeting and the Legislative Judiciary Committee with all their might. Finally, on the 15th, it has held the national doctors' rally.

The Nursing Act is a combination of the ‘Nursing Act’ proposed by Kim Min-seok (Health and Welfare Chairperson) of the Democratic Party and SeoJeong-suk of the People’s Party, and the ‘Nursing and Midwifery Act’ proposed by Choi Yeon-sook of the People’s Party. 

The Nursing Act as a whole contains the contents to improve the working conditions of nurses, such as salaries and working environment. The purpose is to clearly define the responsibilities of the national and local governments in making the nursing policies for public health care and integrated care in the local community and for securing nursing professionals, and to legislate the nursing and care systems required for the elderly and the disabled.

However, there were concerns that the scope of work would be expanded to 'work necessary for patient care', providing an excuse for nurses to open private practice while the role of nurses is defined as 'an assistant to the medical treatments under the guidance of a medical doctor' in the existing Medical Law.

There was also a sense of risks that nursing assistants would have to receive guidance from nurses in the areas scoped outside the medical law. The Korean Nursing Association, which advocates the Nursing Act, has been in conflict with 10 organizations opposing the Nursing Act, such as the Korean Medical Association and the Korean Nursing Assistants Association.

In the process of amending the ruling, the Welfare Committee of the National Assembly reached an agreement to delete the toxic provisions that are in conflict with other occupations such as ▲ using Nursing Act as the priority reference, ▲ adjust the scope of nurses' work, ▲ provision on prescriptions, and ▲ provisions related to nursing assistants and elderly-care workers. 

Bong-shikWoo, director of the Medical Policy Research Institute at the Korean Medical Association, said, "In the process of examining the Nursing Act, all the main contents have been removed” and “most of the contents composing the current Nursing Act are carrying the laws from the current Medical Act or the Health Care Personnel Support Act as they are." 

However, the medical community is feeling the significant level of risks derived from the Nursing Act. This is because of the interpretation that once the Nursing Act is enacted, provisions can be continuously added, and if an independent law is enacted for each job title, the current health care system may collapse.

Pil-soo Lee, President of the Korean Medical Association said, " The Nursing Act was enacted independently without an agreement between the ruling and opposing parties. The Korean Medical Association expresses its deepest regrets as declaring preferential treatments for certain professions is an act of doing harm to the public health.” 

by Sol Im 

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