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The Effects of Doctors’ Strikes on Hospital Mortality Rates

  • Korean Journal of Medical Ethics
  • Abbr : 의료윤리
  • 2020, 23(3), pp.171-189
  • DOI : 10.35301/ksme.2020.23.3.171
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Medical Ethics
  • Research Area : Medicine and Pharmacy > General Medicine
  • Received : August 7, 2020
  • Accepted : September 18, 2020
  • Published : September 30, 2020

KIM YOO RI ORD ID 1 LEE Sang-Ok 1 HAN Jeongsoo 1 SEOL Hee-Yun ORD ID 2 KIM SUNG SOO ORD ID 1

1부산대학교
2양산부산대학교병원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Despite the significant implications of doctors’ strikes for public health, little research has been done on the effects of doctors’ strike on patient mortality. In this study, we attempted to assess the effects on patient mortality of a strike that was carried out by doctors in South Korea in June 2000. The data for this study came from Statistic Korea (KOSTAT)’s ‘Causes of Death Statistics’ for the period 1997 to 2003. The data was analyzed with the four methods most commonly used in international studies on doctor strikes. The analysis shows that there is no significant difference between the disease-related death rate for June 2000 and that for the same month in other analyzed years. Similarly, there is no significant difference between the disease-related death rate for June 2000 and the rates for May and July, either in 2000 or in other analyzed years. However, the disease-related death rate during the strike in June 2000 is slightly lower than the rates for the six-day period immediately prior to and immediately following the strike. This suggests that, contrary to what many people believe, the disease-related death rate did not increase during the doctor’s strike in June 2000. This study is the first to provide statistical evidence concerning the effects of doctors’ strikes on hospital mortality rates in South Korea.

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