From now on, even if a doctor is sentenced to imprisonment or more for a traffic accident or a non-medical crime, his or her medical license may be revoked.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, a partial amendment to the Medical Service Act focusing on these contents went into effect yesterday (20th).
Previously, license cancellation was possible only when a medical professional was sentenced to imprisonment or heavier punishment for violating medical-related laws.
However, the amendment broadened the grounds for disqualification as a medical professional to include cases of receiving imprisonment or a heavier sentence for any crime (including probation and suspended sentences, excluding occupational manslaughter due to unintentional medical accidents).
The amendment also stipulates that even if a person obtains the requirements for issuance of a medical license or passes the national exam by lying or other wrong means, the license will be revoked, and furthermore, the license cannot be reissued.
In order for a medical practitioner to receive a license again, they must receive at least 40 hours of training on topics such as understanding patient rights, the role and ethics of medical practitioners, and understanding medical-related laws.
Completion of the training program will be applied from the time a license is reissued after the amendment takes effect.
It is mandatory for hospital-level medical institutions to deploy dedicated training nurses with certain qualifications, and the state is allowed to support all or part of the costs required to operate dedicated training nurses.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, a total of 526 medical practitioners had their licenses revoked from 2014 to June of this year.
By occupation, doctors were the largest at 300, followed by oriental medicine doctors (117), nurses (75), and dentists (34).
Of the 526 people whose licenses were revoked, 39.7% (209 people) had their licenses reissued, leaving 317 medical practitioners with their licenses revoked.
Among doctors, 126 people, or 42% of those whose licenses were revoked, had their licenses reissued.
41 nurses (54.8%), 37 oriental doctors (31.6%), and 5 dentists (14.7%) received their licenses again.