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ACT ON THE IMPROVEMENT OF TRAINING CONDITIONS AND STATUS OF MEDICAL RESIDENTS

Act No. 13600, Dec. 22, 2015

 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to protect rights of medical doctors in residency years, and to contribute to ensuring the safety of patients, and nurturing good medical human resources by providing for matters necessary for improving training conditions of medical doctors in residency years and enhancing their status.
 Article 2 (Definitions)
The terms used in this Act are defined as follows:
1. The term "medical resident" means a person who is enrolled in a training course with a license issued under Article 5 of the Medical Service Act to practice medicine in order to become a medical specialist under Article 77 of the aforesaid Act;
2. The term "training hospital or institution" means a medical institution, medical college, medical graduate school, or any other health-related institution designated under Article 13;
3. The term "supervising medical specialist" means a person who supervises the training of a medical resident, as designated by the head of a training hospital or institution, among medical specialists defined by Article 77 (1) of the Medical Service Act;
4. The term "training conditions" means: The standards for the designation of a training hospital or institution, including the size of a training hospital or institution and facilities, human resources, equipment, performance of medical service of each department; rules on training programs, including training hours and recess hours; and conditions of treatment of medical residents, including curricula of training programs and remunerations for medical residents.
 Article 3 (State's Support)
(1) The State shall endeavor to provide an institutional strategy necessary for improving training conditions for medical residents and to implement policies therefor.
(2) The State may render administrative and financial assistance necessary for nurturing medical residents and evaluating their training conditions.
 Article 4 (Responsibilities, etc. of Heads of Training Hospitals and Institutions and Medical Residents)
(1) The head of each training hospital or institution and each medical resident shall cooperate with the State in implementing the State's policies for improving training conditions.
(2) The head of each training hospital or institution and each medical resident have the duty to observe the rules on training programs under Article 9 and to honor the training agreement in good faith.
 Article 5 (Formulation, etc. of Comprehensive Plan for Medical Residents)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall formulate and implement a comprehensive plan for medical residents every five years after deliberation by the committee for the assessment of training conditions under Article 15 so as to improve training conditions and enhance the status of medical residents.
(2) The comprehensive plan under paragraph (1) shall be formulated in accordance with the plan for the development of health and medical services under Article 15 of the Framework Act on Health and Medical Services.
 Article 6 (Relationship to Other Acts)
This Act shall take precedence over other Acts as far as training conditions are concerned.
 Article 7 (Training Hours, etc.)
(1) The head of any training hospital or institution shall not force a medical resident to attend training programs for more than 80 hours per week, averaged during four weeks: Provided, That the hours may be increased by 8 hours per week for education purposes.
(2) The head of any training hospital or institution shall not force a medical resident to attend training programs for more than 36 consecutive hours: Provided, That a medical resident may be required to attend training programs for 40 consecutive hours in an emergency case.
(3) The head of each training hospital or institution shall allow at least 10 recess hours to a medical resident after the consecutive training hours specified by Presidential Decree.
<<Enforcement Date: Dec. 23, 2017>>
 Article 8 (Protection for Maternity)
(1) Article 74 (1) through (4) of the Labor Standards Act shall apply to female medical residents' leave before and after childbirth and leave for miscarriage or stillbirth.
(2) Matters additionally arising in connection with the training programs under paragraph (1) shall be determined by the committee for the assessment of training conditions under Article 15.
 Article 9 (Formulation of Training Rules, etc.)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall formulate proposed standard rules on the training of, mentoring for, and supervision over medical residents with regard to the following matters (hereinafter referred to as "training rules") and shall provide the proposed rules to the head of each hospital or institution:
1. Maximum training hours per week;
2. Maximum consecutive training hours;
3. Maximum consecutive training hours in the emergency room;
4. The maximum number of duty days per week;
5. Methods for calculating amount of duty allowances;
6. Minimum recess hours between training sessions;
7. Days off and leave;
8. Methods for calculating and recording training hours;
9. Other matters prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare with regard to training conditions.
(2) The head of each hospital or institution shall formulate training rules in accordance with the standard rules proposed under paragraph (1) and shall submit the rules to the Minister of Health and Welfare. The same procedure shall also apply to an amendment of the training rules so submitted.
(3) The Minister of Health and Welfare may order the head of a training hospital or institution to amend training rules, if the training rules do not meet the standards proposed by the standard training rules under paragraph (1). In such case, the head of a training hospital or institution shall comply with such order.
(4) The head of each training hospital or institution shall keep the training rules formulated under paragraph (2) in the training hospital or institution to make them available to medical residents for perusal.
 Article 10 (Training Agreement, etc.)
(1) When the head of a training hospital or institution makes an agreement with a medical resident on training programs, he/she shall clearly specify rules of the training hospital or institution on the training programs, remunerations, and other matters specified by Presidential Decree. The foregoing shall also apply to an amendment of the training agreement.
(2) When the head of a training hospital or institution executes or amends a training agreement, he/she shall prepare the training agreement in duplicate and keep one copy for his/her file and deliver the other copy to the medical resident.
(3) The head of a training hospital or institution shall ensure that the training agreement under paragraph (1) is made fairly of the medical resident’s own volition.
 Article 11 (Measures for Safety and Health)
The head of a training hospital or institution shall prepare and implement measures for safety and health of medical residents in good faith.
 Article 12 (Training of Supervising Medical Specialists)
(1) The head of a training hospital or institution shall ensure that a supervising medical specialist completes the training course necessary for improving expertise in training medical residents and qualities as an educator.
(2) Matters necessary for the contents, methods, timing, etc. of the training course under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
 Article 13 (Designation of Training Hospitals, etc.)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall designate hospitals, etc. for training medical residents, from among the medical institutions, medical colleges, medical graduate schools, and health-related institutions under the Medical Service Act.
(2) In any of the following cases, the Minister of Health and Welfare may revoke the designation of a training hospital or institution under paragraph (1):
1. If a hospital or institution obtains the designation in a fraud or other improper means;
2. If a hospital or institution wishes to have the designation revoked;
3. If a hospital or institution does not comply with an order issued under Article 17 to rectify any violation without good cause;
4. Other cases specified by Presidential Decree as those where it is concluded that the hospital or institution is unable to maintain its status as a training hospital or institution.
(3) The standards, procedures, and methods for the designation of a training hospital or institution and the revocation of such designation and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 14 (Assessment of Training Conditions)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall conduct an assessment on each training hospital or institution every year with respect to the items specified by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (hereinafter referred to as "assessment of training conditions"), including whether the training hospital or institution keeps the standards for the designation as a training hospital or institution under Article 13, whether it observes training rules under Article 9, and whether it provides training programs to medical residents in accordance with the Medical Service Act and other statutes.
(2) The Minister of Health and Welfare may request the head of a training hospital or institution or any other relevant institution or organization to furnish him/her with information or present opinions, as necessary for assessing training conditions. The person requested in such cases shall comply with the request, in the absence of good cause to the contrary.
(3) The State may provide administrative and financial support to each training hospital or institution at a differential rate according to the results of the assessment of training conditions.
(4) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall reflect the results of the assessment of training conditions in the designation of a training hospital or institution under Article 13.
(5) Matters necessary for the standards, methods, etc. for the assessment of training conditions shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
 Article 15 (Committee for Assessment of Training Conditions)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare shall establish a committee for the assessment of training conditions (hereinafter referred to as the "Committee") in order to have the Committee deliberate on the following matters:
1. Policies and systems for improving training conditions and enhancing the status of medical residents;
2. Comprehensive plans for medical residents;
3. Matters concerning qualification of medical specialists and training curriculum for them;
4. Provisions of the training rules and proposed standard rules under Article 9;
5. Matters referred to in Article 8 (2);
6. Matters concerning the designation of a training hospital or institution under Article 13 and the assessment of training conditions under Article 14;
7. Matters concerning the dispatch of medical residents for training in other than the relevant institution;
8. Other matters on which the Minister of Health and Welfare deems necessary for the Committee to deliberate in connection with the training of medical residents.
(2) The Committee shall be composed of not more than 15 members, including one chairperson.
(3) Members of the Committee shall be appointed or commissioned by the Minister of Health and Welfare, from among the following persons, while the chairperson shall be elected by and from among the members:
1. Persons recommended by the medical associations under Article 28 (1) of the Medical Service Act;
2. Persons recommended by the associations of the medical institutions under Article 52 of the Medical Service Act;
3. Representatives of medical residents, recommended by the medical associations under Article 28 (1) of the Medical Service Act;
4. Persons recommended by corporations engaging in medical service and organizing and arranging curricula for training medical residents;
5. Grade-V or higher-ranking public officials of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, who take charge of affairs related to policies on health and medical services;
6. Persons designated by the Minister of Health and Welfare, from among experts in the assessment of training conditions.
(4) The Minister of Health and Welfare may render financial support, etc. to the Committee as necessary, within the budget.
(5) The Committee may have subcommittees for efficient operation of the Committee.
(6) Matters necessary for the formation and operation of the Committee and its subcommittees shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 16 (Reporting, Inspection, etc.)
(1) If the Minister of Health and Welfare deems it necessary for the enforcement of this Act, he/she may request the head of a training hospital or institution to submit a report or relevant documents or to cooperate with him/her or may authorize public officials of the Ministry to enter the training hospital or institution to ask questions to people involved or to investigate or inspect relevant books of accounts, documents, etc., as prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
(2) Public officials who investigate or inspect under paragraph (1) shall carry a certificate indicating their authority and shall present it to related people.
 Article 17 (Corrective Order)
(1) The Minister of Health and Welfare may order the head of a training hospital or institution to rectify any violation of this Act.
(2) The criteria and methods of, and procedure for corrective order and other necessary matters shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
 Article 18 (Entrustment of Work)
The Minister of Health and Welfare may entrust a related institution with the following work, as prescribed by Presidential Decree:
1. Receiving of training rules submitted under Article 9 (2);
2. Search for data for the designation of training hospitals, etc. under Article 13 and the assessment of training conditions under Article 14;
3. Assistance to the committee for the assessment of training conditions for its operation under Article 15.
 Article 19 (Administrative Fines)
(1) Any of the following persons shall be subject to an administrative fine of not more than five million won:
1. The head of a training hospital or institution who violates any provision of Article 7 (1) through (3);
2. The head of a training hospital or institution who does not submit training rules, in violation of Article 9 (2);
3. The head of a training hospital or institution who does not comply with an order in violation of Article 9 (3).
(2) Any of the following persons shall be subject to an administrative fine of not more than three million won:
1. The head of a training hospital or institution who does not observe the training rules formulated under Article 9 (2) (excluding the training rules on training hours under Article 7 (1) through (3)), in violation of Article 4 (2);
2. The head of a training hospital or institution who does not provide information in accordance with Article 14 (2) or fabricates and provides false information.
(3) Any person who fails to file a report under Article 16 (1); or rejects, interferes with, or evades an investigation or inspection shall be subject to an administrative fine of not more than two million won.
(4) The head of any training hospital or institution who fails to ensure that supervising medical specialists complete necessary training courses, in violation of Article 12 (1), shall be subject to an administrative fine of not more than one million won.
(5) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) 1, the penalty for a breach of the duty under Article 7 may be mitigated or remitted, if the breach is justified on any of the grounds specified by Presidential Decree, including the protection of a patient and an emergency situation.
(6) Administrative fines under paragraphs (1) through (4) shall be imposed and collected by the Minister of Health and Welfare, as prescribed by Presidential Decree.
ADDENDA
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force one year after the date of its promulgation: Provided, That Article 7 shall enter into force two years after the date of its promulgation.
Article 2 (Transitional Measure concerning Training Rules)
The training rules formulated by the head of a training hospital or institution and submitted to the Minister of Health and Welfare in accordance with former provisions before this Act enters into force are deemed as training rules formulated and submitted under this Act: Provided, That the head of the hospital or institution shall amend the training rules in accordance with this Act and submit the rules to the Minister of Health and Welfare within six months after the enforcement date of this Act.
Article 3 (Transitional Measures concerning Training Agreements)
(1) A training agreement made by the head of a training hospital or institution and a medical resident before this Act enters into force is deemed a training agreement made under this Act: Provided, That the head of the hospital or institution and the medical resident shall amend the training agreement in accordance with the training rules submitted in accordance with this Act and the proviso to Article 2 of the Addenda within six months after the enforcement of this Act.
(2) The former training agreement shall apply to the remunerations that the head of a training hospital or institution shall pay to a medical resident due to any cause or event that has arisen before this Act enters into force.