South Korean president makes case for medical reform

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has defended his government's plan to boost medical school admissions despite fierce opposition from doctors.

In a televised address to the nation on Monday, Yoon said the reform is for the people. He also said that if the medical community comes up with a more proper and reasonable solution, the two sides can discuss it as much as they want.

The government announced in February that it plans to expand medical school quotas by more than 60 percent to prepare for a possible shortfall of doctors.

The medical community argues that a sudden increase in the number of students will cause the quality of services to deteriorate.

In protest, about 10,000 trainee doctors have been refusing to turn up for work for more than a month.

The standoff continues ahead of South Korea's general election on April 10. Local media are reporting that the ruling party is facing an uphill battle.

As the president has reiterated his intention of implementing the reform, the question is how his stance will affect the election.