As 40,000 incumbent nurses and nursing school students are expected to gather at a protest against the right to veto the Nursing Act to be held in the Gwanghwamun area of Seoul on the 19th, government departments and related organizations such as the police are very tense.
According to the coverage of the Seoul Economic Daily on the 18th, it was confirmed that the Ministry of Education is investigating the forced mobilization, participation, attendance, etc. in relation to the Nursing Law-related assembly targeting major nursing colleges across the country. Although there are differences depending on the individual university, it is known that the Academic Affairs Office issued instructions such as ‘Students should not be mobilized for group action regardless of their will’ and ‘Please observe the university’s standards for handling public elections’.
A professor at a nursing college in Gyeongbuk said, “The Ministry of Education contacted me by phone, and the Office of Academic Affairs at the Headquarters also asked me to submit documents regarding student mobilization and classes related to attending the Nursing Act rally.”
According to the Korea Nursing College안전놀이터 (Department) Heads Association, it was found that the information department of police stations in some regions, including Gyeongnam, Gyeongbuk, and Chungnam, is making calls to nursing professors, teaching assistants, and student council presidents individually asking whether or not to attend the rally. A professor at the College of Nursing in Gyeongsangnam-do said, “After the Itaewon disaster, I called to ask if I would attend the rally on Friday and asked if I would attend the rally tomorrow to inform the police station in advance.” The council suspects that the Ministry of Education, the police, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare were involved in a nationwide investigation. However, the ministry has completely denied this.
Oh Eui-geum, head of the Korean College of Nursing (Department) Heads Council (dean of Yonsei University College of Nursing), said, “Calling not only nursing professors but also students to ask if they would like to attend is considered an important issue that can be interpreted as an exercise of pressure.” We will decide whether or not to respond after that.”
The Korean Nursing Association formalized its first collective action on the 17th of this month in protest against President Yoon Seok-yeol’s exercise of the right to request reconsideration (veto) of the enactment of the Nursing Act. Although they are outside the range of nurse licenses such as proxy prescriptions and blood sampling, they reject illegal medical practices that have been carried out in secret, and gather in Gwanghwamun, Seoul on the 19th to hold a ‘national condemnation rally to condemn the veto of the Nursing Act and eradicate corruption politics’. However, it is estimated that 30,000 to 40,000 people will attend the rally as it is not a strike that takes the lives and safety of the people as hostage, and it is a policy to encourage applications for organized annual leave . On the 12th, International Nurses Day, 20,000 nurses and students from 200 nursing schools nationwide held a large-scale rally in the Gwanghwamun area of Seoul and urged the enactment of the Nursing Act.