Pharmacists Vow to Dispense Drugs without Doctor's Prescription

Korea Times (Seoul, Korea), September 21, 2000 | Go to article overview

Pharmacists Vow to Dispense Drugs without Doctor's Prescription


Twenty professors of Seoul National University's school of public health yesterday urged striking doctors to return to work.

``We believe doctors can never justify their collective action and refusal to provide medical care to patients,'' the professors said in a statement, appealing to doctors to end their walkout immediately.

The professors also called on both doctors and the government to resume talks to find a negotiated solution to the current medical crisis.

Prof. Yang Bong-min of SNU's school of public health said that the doctors' strike cannot be tolerated any more because they were taking people's lives hostage to seek their selfish interests.

Pharmacists also announced a plan to dispense drugs to patients without a doctor's prescription if doctors opposing a medical reform program refuse to end their walkout.

The move came one day after the Korean Medical Association (KMA), an interest group of 45,000 doctors, threatened to call an indefinite general strike from Oct. 6 unless the government releases arrested KMA representatives and apologize for the ``misguided'' healthcare policy.

The Korean Pharmaceutical Association (KPA), a fraternity group of some 50,000 pharmacists, decided to dispense drugs to patients in case doctors press ahead with their planned strike. …

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