KHMU Info No. 11(December 20, 2018)
“We will stop the con game, which permits the first for-profit hospital in Jeju Island.”
The KHMU launched a one million-signature campaign against licensing of the first for-profit hospital in Jeju and started candlelight protest on 15th.
The KHMU decided to mobilize its members for the rally to take place on January 3rd at the Jeju Provincial Government Building
The KHMU (Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union, President Na Soon-ja) started a one million-citizen signature campaign to urge the provincial government to nullify the permission for the first for-profit hospital in Jeju. And it decided to demonstrate with candles on December 15 followed by starting an intensive protest at the Jeju Provincial Government Building on January 3.
At 2:30 pm on December 12, the KHMU held a “Central and Branch Leadership Meeting” at the KHMU office’s auditorium, attended by around 150 leadership members and also hosted a press conference, in which it denounced the Jeju provincial government for permitting the first for-profit hospital named “Jeju Greenland International Hospital” and announced its decision to strongly struggle against the province’s approval.
The central secretariat at the KHMU set up a ‘Taskforce Team against For-profit Hospital in Jeju” and manages relevant campaigns in general. At 6:00 pm on December 15, the union members working in the capital city area joined <The Candlelight Cultural Performance against For-Profit Hospital in Jeju> at the Financial Building in the Gwanghwamoon Square and participated in the candlelight vigil. At 11:00 am on January 3rd, 2019, the intensive rally will be organized by the KHMU before the Jeju Provincial Government Building.
In addition, the KHMU members will conduct a one million-signature campaign twice per week in hospitals where they work. A placard will be hung in each hospital while protest selfie campaigns and SNS activities will be developed as well. Plus, the union will ask the Free Medical Service Campaign Group and occupation groups to develop a joint solidarity struggle; and it will request different groups and organizations in various sectors to also declare that they oppose medical service privatization. At the same time, it decided to propose to reopen <Pan-nation People’s Movement against Medical Service Privatization>.
President Na noted in her opening remarks that the Governor Won Hee-ryong ignored the decision made by the Public Opinion Committee and made a unjustifiable decision to conditionally permit the for-profit hospital, while the decision making process was not reliable at all, and she added that the KHMU would never let the for-profit hospital run in the island as it has been pursuing consistently for 16 years in a row.
At the same time, she also said, “As we experienced in 2014, once we go first as an example, other civil organizations and citizens will follow. We will struggle hard but if the decision is still not nullified, we will mobilize all power and resources for two phased all-out struggles, which includes general strike against for-profit hospitals and campaigns calling for resignation of the Governor Won Hee-ryong and organizing residents to file a complaint against the local government’s decision.