Samsung Medical Center Closes Down Parts of Hospital Due to MERS Virus

kpride, June 15, 2015, 8:37 a.m.

Samsung Medical Center on Sunday agreed to close down parts of the hospital until June 24 and stop treating outpatients after being asked by the government task force to step up anti-MERS measures. 

This could have devastating effects since hospital carries out nearly 10 percent of all cancer operations in the country. Even if it returns to normal operation by June 25, a huge backlog of scheduled operations will build up. But the hospital said treatment of cancer patients who require radiation therapy or anti-cancer injections every day will continue.

Patients with diabetes, asthma, and heart disease who require regular check-ups can send a relative to pick up their prescriptions. The biggest problem is with patients waiting for surgery. Especially cancer patients who require an urgent operation may not be able to wait until June 24 or schedule an operation in another hospital. 

The Korean Hospital Association held an emergency meeting in Seoul on Sunday evening. Lee Wang-jun of the association said, "We're going to resolve this issue by arranging for doctors from Samsung Medical Center to carry out operations in other hospitals in our network." What will happen to the over 8,000 outpatients who visit Samsung Medical Center every day and to patients who have to be discharged remains to be seen.

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