On 26 March PSI affiliate Korea Health and Medical Workers’ Union (KHMU) held its second central bargaining meeting and demanded employers to join the national campaign against the privatization of the healthcare system. During the negotiations which included representatives of both the employers and the union, KHMU presented its demands.
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KHMU's demands include a wage increase of 8.1%, the regularisation of precarious workers, the stoppage of the privatisation of the healthcare system, the expansion of public healthcare providers (from 6% to 30%), the increase of the National Healthcare Insurance coverage (from 60% to 90%), the legislation of medical staffing act, and the improvement of patients’ rights.
Yoo Ji-hyun (KHMU President) said, “The government policy to privatise the healthcare system will lead to a disaster for hospital employers as well as workers. Let us negotiate to establish a workplace where workers have their hopes and patients are provided with the quality health care services by stopping the government policy of healthcare privatization and telemedicine.”
KHMU launched the national campaign against the privatization and commercialization of healthcare together with around 100 civic groups on 12 March and has urged the government to withdraw its policy to introduce telemedicine and allow hospitals to become profitable corporations.
As part of the national campaign, KHMU is planning a one-million signatures campaign, a nation-wide candle-lit rally, and the enactment of prevention of healthcare privatisation.