Ruling & opposition parties clash over easing regulations in medical sectorUpdated: 2014-01-10 PM 10:29:17 (KST)
The first "privatization" dispute was centered around the state-owned railway corporation.
This one is focused on the medical sector.
The blame game has a political center, as the ruling and opposition parties jockey for position ahead of the upcoming regional elections in June.
Ruling Saenuri Party floor leader Choi Kyung-hwan slammed the opposition party for spreading what he called unverified rumors and for distorting measures put forth by the Park administration to develop the medical industry.
"The Democratic Party knows full well that allowing medical corporations to set up subsidiaries or providing remote medical services to patients will not increase medical expenses and has nothing to do with privatization. But the DP is trying to use it as part of a political strategy in campaigning for the regional elections."
The main opposition Democratic Party, meanwhile, pointed the finger at President Park for instigating a conflict in the medical sector so shortly after the rail strike.
DP leader Kim Han-gil said disregarding the public nature of medical services and viewing it as a type of commercial industry comes from [quote] "pariah capitalism."
"The privatization of the medical sector will inevitably lead to a hike in the public's medical bills. Should privatization be pushed before first listening to public opinion, before the matter goes through a thorough review and debate at parliament, it will definitely fail."
The Park administration late last year unveiled plans that would allow medical corporations to set up subsidiaries,as part of efforts to ease regulations and boost investment in the medical services sector.
In response, some 500 members of the Korea Medical Association are expected to meet this weekend, where they will draw up plans to go on strike as early as Monday, in protest of the government's measures.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News.
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