South Korea gives protesting doctors end-Feb deadline to return to work
South Korea's government on Monday told young doctors they had until the end of February to return to work or risk being punished for staging a week-long
protest that has disrupted services for patients at several major hospitals.
Two-thirds of the nation's residents and intern doctors had walked off the job to protest a government plan to increase the number of students admitted to medical school in a bid to address what authorities say is a shortage of doctors that is set to worsen in one of the world's fastest ageing societies.
The protest has forced hospitals to turn away patients and cancel procedures.
"Considering the gravity of the situation, the government issues the last plea," safety minister Lee Sang-min said at the opening of a task-force meeting, adding that chaos was mounting in hospitals and emergency services had reached a "dangerous situation".