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(LEAD) Nursing act scrapped in revote after Yoon's veto

16:37 May 30, 2023

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead, photo; UPDATES with more info throughout)
By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, May 30 (Yonhap) -- The National Assembly on Tuesday voted down the controversial nursing act that was put up for a revote after President Yoon Suk Yeol vetoed the legislation earlier this month.

The act was rejected in a 178-107 vote with four abstentions, and scrapped. A vetoed bill requires two-thirds approval to override the presidential veto, which means that at least 193 lawmakers should have voted for it in order for it to pass.

The result had been widely expected because the ruling People Power Party currently holds 113 seats in the 300-member parliament.

Yoon exercised his veto power against the bill railroaded by the main opposition Democratic Party, saying the legislation causes too much tension among medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses and nursing assistants.

Doctors and nursing assistants have voiced their opposition to the bill, arguing it could lead to confusion in the medical sector by allowing nurses to open clinics without doctors' supervision and potentially discriminate against nursing assistants.

Nurses advocate for the bill, stating its importance in redefining their work as a more independent and professional service in response to increasing medical needs. They also argue that the act was one of Yoon's campaign promises leading up to last year's presidential election.

Ruling and opposition lawmakers cast ballots during a plenary session of the National Assembly in Seoul on May 30, 2023. (Yonhap)


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