On August 18th, the Jeju Administrative Division 1 of the Gwangju High Court overturned the first instance judgment in the appeal trial of the “Litigation to Cancel the Disposition to Cancel Permission to Open a Foreign Medical Institution” filed by Greenland Jeju Healthcare Town Co. (Greenland Jeju) and sided with the plaintiff.
The court found that although Greenland Jeju failed to open a hospital within three months from the day it received permission to open as specified in the Medical Act, there was a justifiable reason for not starting operations.
In October of last year, the court of first instance ruled in favor of Jeju Province. It ruled that “Even if Greenland Jeju filed a lawsuit arguing that the conditional permission was illegal, as long as the permission to open was authentic, it must have opened the medical institution within three months and began operating once the permission was given.” However, in the second trial, the circumstances of Greenland Jeju were taken into account.
The second trial judge ruled that it would have been difficult for Greenland Jeju to open a hospital within three months because more time was required to prepare for the opening, following the delay in the grant of the permission and the unexpected conditional permission.
The court remarked, “Looking at the business plans approved by the Minister of Health and Welfare, it seems that the establishment of Greenland Hospital was promoted on the premise of not limiting the number of patients, but Jeju Province imposed a condition that restricts treatment to foreigners 15 months after their application for permission.” The decision viewed that Greenland would not have anticipated this, and the delay in permission was also not due to reasons attributable to the company.
According to the decision, “In the process of delaying the permit, more than half of the recruited personnel left, and the conditional permit made it inevitable to change the business plan. Nonetheless, Jeju Province did not allow Greenland to reestablish the plan accordingly even when the company expressed its intention to do so.” The court judged that it was illegal to revoke the permit even though there was a reason for not opening within the deadline.
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