Movement to boycott hospitals rises in response to doctors going on strike

Posted on : 2020-08-31 17:51 KST Modified on : 2020-08-31 17:51 KST
Boycott Hospital accuses physicians of using patients’ lives as bargaining chips
The website of the Boycott Hospital movement
The website of the Boycott Hospital movement

With the Korea Medical Association (KMA) threatening to launch an indefinite strike on Sept. 7, a boycott is being organized to end patronage of hospitals that take part in the strike.

On Aug. 27, a website called “Boycott Hospital” ( was set up calling for a boycott of hospitals where doctors are going on strike. “It is completely unacceptable for doctors to selfishly and irresponsibly treat the critically ill as bargaining chips by refusing to provide them treatment,” the website administrator said.

The website contains message boards for each region of the country where users can post information about hospitals that are joining the strike. The website’s logo was inspired by “No Japan,” which was used to promote the boycott of Japanese products last year.

Activity on the website spiked following news on Sunday that the Korean Internet Resident Association (KIRA) had decided to continue its own strike. As of 2 pm, the message board had received more than 200 posts about hospitals that are going on strike. With more people visiting the website, the administrator decided to overhaul its design on Sunday.

“Visitors are encouraged to provide information about hospitals that are taking part in the strike in the message boards below. Those who support the strike are also allowed to express their opinion,” the administrator explained.

Because the website doesn’t have any means of confirming the accuracy of the information provided, there are concerns that hospitals that are closed for other reasons may be erroneously accused of being part of the strike.

Some doctors logged onto the message board to express their vehement opposition. “If a list ever comes out of the people in the boycott, I’ll refuse to treat them,” threatened one individual claiming to be a doctor on strike.

By Oh Yeon-seo, staff reporter

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