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Police Probe Former KMA President Noh Hwan Kyu for Alleged Incitement

Former President of the Korean Medical Association, Noh Hwan Kyu
Expresses opposition to “the government’s flawed medical policy” and the increase in the number of doctors

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On the 9th, the police investigated Noh Hwan Kyu, former president of the Korean Medical Association, for allegedly inciting collective action among specialists in response to the government’s plan to increase the number of medical school students.

Upon entering the office building that morning, he told reporters, “I have not had any contact with any resident organizations or the KMA other than expressing my regret over the situation on social media as a senior doctor.”

Noh has been expressing his opposition to the increase in medical school students on social media since February.

He criticized the government, saying, “The claim that we need to increase the number of doctors because the demand for medical care is increasing among the elderly is false.” He also said, “Increasing the number of medical schools producing surplus doctors is a future disaster.” He also said, “The president fights to achieve political goals, and doctors fight to protect values.”

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After being investigated for over 11 hours, Noh said, “The fact that the residents resigned and left the hospital is due to the government’s flawed medical policy,” and “Residents will not leave the medical field just because they saw my social media post.”

He also criticized, “There is no fact that I conspired (about the collective resignation of specialists),” and “It’s a very cowardly operation to shift the blame to a few individuals, including myself.”

Netizens who heard his remarks criticized Noh, saying, “Do doctors have to save face even if it means killing patients?” “They should be wary of the government,” “The whole nation supports the government’s policy,” and “This group of individualists is intimidating the people and the government.”

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Noh Hwan Kyu graduated from Yonsei University College of Medicine and obtained his master’s and doctorate degrees at the same university. He completed his residency in thoracic surgery at Severance Hospital. He served as a full-time specialist at Yonsei Cardiovascular Center before becoming a professor of thoracic surgery at Ajou University Hospital.

He served as the representative of the National Union of Korean Medical Doctors and was the 37th president of the Korean Medical Association from May 2012 to April 2014.

During his two terms as representative, he was known as a “fighter in the medical field.”

Just before his election as KMA president and during his tenure as the representative of the National Union of Korean Medical Doctors, he led a movement to oust the leadership, including accusing former KMA president Kyeong Man Ho of embezzling association funds and reporting him to the Seoul Western District Prosecutor’s Office.

In 2013, he cut his own throat with a knife he was carrying while giving a speech at the “

National Doctors’ Rally to Correct the Medical System.”

He also issued a rebuttal to the Supreme Court’s acquittal verdict on MBC PD Note’s Mad Cow Disease report and announced a medical opinion that the MRI of Park Joo Shin, son of former Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon, was likely not his own.

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After taking office as KMA president, he devoted his efforts to eradicating illegal rebates for medical products. He declared that “the medical community will not receive rebates, which are rewards in the form of money or hospitality for prescribing certain drugs.” He petitioned the court and visited the Board of Audit and Inspection to convey the KMA’s position.

However, he was critical of the double punishment for rebates. He warned that “there is no hope in the pharmaceutical industry because of the ‘double punishment for rebates,'” and if the double punishment for rebates continues, it will be a major obstacle to the pharmaceutical industry.

Noh was impeached in April 2014, leaving one year of his KMA term. He was the first president in the KMA’s history to be impeached.

The reason for the impeachment was analyzed as “leadership.” His declaration to eradicate rebates seemed charismatic, ignoring the resistance of association members, but it was also autocratic.

At the National Doctors’ Representatives Conference held in January of that year, a woman in her 50s stormed in. She shouted, “Noh Hwan Kyu (President of the Korean Medical Association) has misled the people and doctors with his poor interpretation of rebates” and “Impeach Noh Hwan Kyu, no confidence.” The woman was known to be a doctor who had opened a private hospital after graduating from medical school but had closed it.

Meanwhile, former President Noh Hwan Kyu is causing a stir by writing on his social media on the 10th that “President Yoon directed the request for my arrest warrant during the police investigation.”

He argued, “If the highest authority in the administrative office directs the request for an arrest warrant even before the police investigation begins, this constitutes a severe abuse of power.”

In response, the police stated, “We have never received such a directive.”

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