|▲ On the 10th, CWNU President Lee Ho-young and Gyeongnam Governor Park Wan-soo had a media interview (Source: CWNU Waagle)|
CWNU President Lee Ho- young has launched full- scale activities to attract a medical school, a 30- year project of Changwon City. Changwon is the only city, except for the metropolitan areas with more than 1 million people, without a medical school. Since medical gaps caused by the absence of medical and local public health officials in Changwon City are linked to the health rights of local residents, the issue of establishing CWNU Medical School is receiving more attention.
On January 19, five national universities, including CWNU, held a, 'Joint Forum for the Establishment of National University Medical Schools by Region.' The joint forum progressed in the order of, ‘Necessity and Method of Establishing a Regional Public Medical School,’ ‘Sharing Policy Research on Attracting Medical Schools,’ and, ‘Adopting a Joint Proposal.’ In addition, in February, President Lee Ho- young met with Changwon Mayor Hong Nam- pyo and Gyeongnam Governor Park Wan- soo to discuss the main issues related to the promotional plans for establishing a medical school. At the meeting, Changwon Mayor Hong Nam- pyo and Gyeongnam Governor Park Wan- soo announced that Changwon City and South Gyeongsangnam- do Province will collaborate with CWNU to cooperatively form a joint response for the establishment of the CWNU Medical School. On February 19 and 28, five national universities, including Kongju National University, Mokpo National University, Sunchon National University, and Andong National University, submitted a joint proposal to the Minister of Health and Welfare and the Chairman of Health and Welfare Committee on, 'increasing the number of medical school members and establishing a new system for fostering local public health personnel.'
The joint proposal submitted by CWNU and five national universities to the Minister of Health and Welfare and the Chairman of the Health and Welfare Committee, lists the requirements for establishing a national medical school in each region. The proposal calls for establishing a medical school and affiliated university hospitals, allocating personnel for medical schools, establishing a regional public health manpower fostering system, and the support and cooperation of the state. Presidents of five universities, including CWNU President Lee Ho- young, expressed their purpose on the proposal to establish a national university medical school, saying, "It is to overcome the imbalance in the medical system between the capital and non- capital areas, promote community development, and become a national university that coexists with the region." CWNU's Alumni Association also expressed its intention to do its best to ensure that the establishment of the CWNU Medical School is successful. Alumni Association President Kim Jae- heung said, "As all members of the university, including President Lee Ho- young, are doing their utmost for the university's future development, the Alumni Association will join them."
Among the cities of more than 1 million people in Korea, only Changwon, Gyeongsangnam- do, does not have a medical school. According to the, ‘Survey Results of Health and Medical Personnel,’ released by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in July last year, the number of doctors nationwide as of 2020 was 99,492. Among them, there are 5,216 doctors in the Gyeongnam area, or 5.2% of the total number of doctors in the country, and only 156.5 doctors in the Gyeongnam area per 100,000 population. Also, looking at the data on, ‘Necessity and Policy Tasks for Expanding the Manpower of Doctors in Gyeongnam,’ presented by the Gyeongnam Institute in December last year, it was found that the medical school of Jinju Gyeongsang National University, the only medical school in Gyeongnam, was the lowest over the country with 76 students. The number of medical school students at Gyeongsang National University is 2.5% of 3,058 students in 40 medical schools countrywide, and the capacity per 10,000 people is 0.23%, which is far less considering that the national average is 0.59%. In July 2020, Gyeongsangnam- do Public health policy Institute surveyed the, 'Medical Personnel Estimation,' revealing that an increase of at least 107.7 medical personnel are needed.
To establish CWNU's medical school, it is necessary to present an indispensable justification for establishing a medical school and wholehearted support from local political circles. Moreover, as it is an issue directly related to the health rights of citizens in Gyeongsangnam- do and the future of CWNU, the attention, and support of CWNU members along with Gyeongsangnam- do residents are urgent.
By Jo Ah-bin, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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