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Is it Possible to Establish the Changwon University School of Medicine?
  • By Jo Soo-bin, cub-reporter
  • 승인 2020.04.09 17:13
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Is it Possible to Establish the Changwon University School of Medicine?

▲ source https://www.changecme.com/

Recently, people have been talking about the establishment of the Changwon University School of Medicine. Efforts have been made to establish a medical school at Changwon University for almost 30 years, since 1992. The establishment of the Changwon University School of Medicine was mentioned as a general election pledge in 2012. In June 2015, the City of Changwon and Changwon University signed an agreement to establish an industrial college of medicine. In September 2017, the Gyeongnam Provincial Council issued an "interpellation to urge the establishment of a medical school in Changwon." Many efforts have been made to establish a medical school in Changwon University. So how is the current situation regarding the establishment of the Changwon University School of Medicine going?

As the 21st National Assembly election is approaching, Changwon proposed a total of 12 policies to each political party. Among them is the establishment of the Changwon University School of Medicine. The Changwon Chamber of Commerce and Industry also requested that the medical school be reflected in its pledge to establish a medical school. The Democratic Party of Korea’s candidate, Lee Heung-seok, and the Minjung Party’s candidates, Seok Young-chul and Chung Hye-kyung, mentioned the establishment of a medical school at Changwon National University. Changwon Mayor Huh Sung-moo said, “Candidates for the general election are calling for the establishment of a medical school at Changwon University. The City of Changwon also agrees with this proposition and insists that a higher educational institution that trains health care workers must be established in our region.” It is clear to see that there are still constant discussions about the establishment of the Changwon University School of Medicine.

What would be the benefits of establishing a medical school? The first benefit would be that it would help serve Changwon’s large population. Changwon has a population of more than 1.04 million, and it is the only metropolitan city with a population of over a million that has no medical institutions, including medical schools, dentistry schools, oriental medicine schools, and pharmacy schools. In the whole of South Gyeongsang Province, there is only one medical school at Gyeongsang National University. There is the Inje University Medical School. However, since the school is located in Busan, the people in South Gyeongsang Province don’t feel that they receive much medical benefits from this school. The shortage of medical institutions is indicated by a lack of medical professionals in South Gyeongsang Province. There are 5500 doctors in South Gyeongsang Province, which equals 2.35 doctors per 1000 people. This is less than the national average of 2.88 doctors per 1000 people. Recently, COVID-19 has had a large effect on the establishment of medical schools. Hospitals in South Gyeongsang Province are offering medical aid to COVID-19 patients from all over the country. This has caused a shortage of medical staff in South Gyeongsang Province. The COVID-19 pandemic has raised demands for more public medical personnel. Citizens of Changwon agree that a city as large as Changwon needs to establish medical schools..

The second benefit to establishing a medical school would be that it would help support local industry. Changwon is an area of high industrial density. So, there are a large number of industrial workers. The City of Changwon and Changwon University signed an agreement for the establishment of an industrial college of medicine in 2015. This school would be designated the Changwon Hospital of the Korean Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service as a subsidiary hospital. The agreement includes a plan to utilize nine national industrial hospitals as cooperative hospitals. However, these efforts have yet to become a reality. The establishment of a medical school is necessary for two reasons: to serve the large population and to support local industry. So, what are the next steps that need to be taken to establish a medical school at Changwon University?

There are many hurdles that need to be overcome in politics and administration, such as the cooperation of the Doctors' Association, permission from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and approval of the Ministry of Education. However, the Ministry of Education has always said that it is difficult to increase the number of medical schools. In addition, the Doctors' Association has a negative view on the establishment of medical schools. This is because the total number of medical personnel is over and there is a problem with increasing insurance finances. Public opinion should be taken into consideration when discussing the establishment of a medical school. Unfortunately, that is not the case in the current situation.

Changwon University proposed various types of medical schools this year, including industrial medicine, oriental medicine, and a public medical school. In the end, it proposed the establishment of a medical school with a quota of 50 students, giving a boost to the feasibility of establishing a medical school. In the future, local citizens should continue to show a steady interest in the establishment of medical schools, and persuade the Doctors' Association and the Education Ministry of the benefits of medical schools. If there is a steady effort, both within and outside of Changwon University, the dream of the establishment of the Changwon University School of Medicine will finally become reality.

By Jo Soo-bin, cub-reporter

By Jo Soo-bin, cub-reporter  hyun185415@naver.com

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