South Korean hospital hit again for forcing nurses to give political donations
Senior nurses allegedly told nurses to make donations and get them back through tax returns at the end of the year
By You Soo-sun
The Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, which recently came under fire for forcing its nurses to put on a suggestive dance performance, has come under criticism again for engaging in systematic efforts to have them make donations to a lawmaker.
Allegations are rising that a branch of the hospital, located in Chuncheon of Gangwon Province, forced its nurses to pay donations to Rep. Kim Jin-tae of the Liberty Korea Party, the lawmaker of the district.
The accusation was raised after a picture of an excel file was released. Titled, “Hallym University Chuncheon Sacred Heart Hospital donor list,” it contained information of donors including names, phone numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and the affiliated departments at the hospital.
The picture revealed just four names, all of which were confirmed as nurses at the hospital. But there were at least 26 names in that file, according to a local newspaper Hankyoreh, which obtained the document.
A senior nurse identified by the first initial of her surname K, is suspected to have taken part in forcing other nurses to each donate 100,000 won (US$89.5) to Rep. Kim.
Via a messenger application, she allegedly told her younger colleagues, “Please send 100,000 won to Rep. Kim like last year; you can get it back through your tax return at the end of the year.”
Other senior nurses were also allegedly ordered to get around four people in each department to make the donations.
The previous year, another senior nurse made the same recommendation using the hospital’s email system.
Rep. Kim raised 318 million won (US$285,427) in donations last year, the second largest amount among National Assembly members.