After an 8-year struggle – victory for Korean workers
After an 8-year battle by UNI affiliate KHMU (Korea Health & Medical Workers Union) the bill of Health & Medical Workforce Supporting Act was passed unanimously as of April 5th in Korea. The new law is a breakthrough in the quality of health & medical services in Korea.
Sister Na Sun-Ja, KHMU president said, “The new law will ensure that workers’ rights are respected. 800,000 workers in the health & medical service industry will be able to provide a better quality of care to their patients. This historic victory is not only for our union members but for all Koreans, who will, at some point in their lives, either be patients or consumers of medical services.”
“All around the world, care workers face the same issues,” said Adrian Durtschi. “From a chronic lack of time, to negligent and dangerous understaffing as well as long hours and poor remuneration, care workers are often so overworked that they cannot provide the high quality of care they want to deliver.”
“This law will ensure that both workers and patients get a better deal in the health sector in Korea. If we invest in our care professionals and infrastructure, it’s beneficial for entire societies and the sector will flourish.”
KHMU expressed thanks to UNICARE for giving them the opportunity to participate in theTripartite Meeting on Improving Employment and Working Conditions in Health Services in April 2017 in Geneva. The meeting in Geneva helped the eventual passing of the bill as KHMU were able to show that the health service industry is a huge growth sector and can provide quality employment for hundreds of thousands of workers.
The new law comes into effect from October this year.