Doctors residents x-ray 311.
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
After 245 medical residents didn’t show up for work Monday morning, the Health
Ministry warned they were acting “in contempt of court.”
Most were from
the larger and economically stronger hospitals in the country – mostly Haifa’s
Rambam Medical Center, Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba and Tel Aviv Sourasky
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The hospitals were not warned in advance.
organization, named Arbel, which speaks on behalf of hospital residents but does
not legally represent them, has so far not succeeded in persuading the Treasury
to meet their demands or the Labor Court or other higher courts to rule in its
Dr. Chezy Levy, head of the ministry’s medical administration
(including supervision of the hospital system), said his office is trying to get
the residents to go back to work immediately using legal and other means but
that he could not predict the result.
“We hope they will act as
law-abiding citizens,” he said.
The ministry said Monday it was
“following” the intention of a few hundred residents to absent themselves from
some departments. It instructed hospital directors to tell them if they did not
coordinate their absences with their superiors that they were violating hospital
rules and showing contempt of the National Labor Court, which had instructed
them to return to work.
Arbel members took action before the High Court
of Justice has ruled on its request by members to resign in protest against the
various courts’ refusal to let them resign en masse. The ministry noted
negotiations with the Treasury are the “only solution” to existing
The ministry told hospital directors to present it with a list
of names of doctors who did not arrive at work.
The ministry said senior
hospital doctors would work longer hours to ensure no departments or units would
close. All leaves and activities were canceled immediately.
Justice Hanan Meltzer has criticized the fact that talks between the Treasury
and the residents had not been intensive in recent weeks.
Medical Association also said Arbel had not yet met the criteria of a subgroup
that could represent doctors within the IMA and that any physician who joined an
organization that “has a conflict of interest with it” would not be allowed to
be an IMA member.