Prime Minister (and formally health minister) Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night met with IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman, Treasury wage chief Ilan Levin, Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman and other negotiators in the residents' dispute to hear the various sides and try to help find solutions.

The residents abandoned a meeting that was held at the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem earlier in the day after being invited to a meeting with Netanyahu at his Jerusalem office.

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Medical residents agree to postpone resignation by 48 hours

Netanyahu held talks with Litzman earlier in the day to discuss the planned resignation of hundreds of the residents.

Despite claims that some medical residents were "so angry" that they would resign on Tuesday -- even though their voluntary organization agreed to negotiate intensively through Wednesday -- all of them turned up at their jobs on Tuesday morning, the Health Ministry reported. On Monday, all those involved were panicked, with the ministry preparing the public for the possibility that the dearth of residents in the wards could lead to patient deaths.

Work was normal the day after the crisis in which the resignation letters submitted over a month ago by over 700 young residents were due to go into effect. It seemed as if both the employers (including the government) and the residents were desperate to find a sturdy ladder from which to climb down and find a compromise.

The Health Ministry’s situation room in Jerusalem’s Talpiot quarter had nothing to do except to hear the good news that there were no disruptions caused in the hospitals where residents had threatened to resign.

At 11 p.m. Monday, the National Labor Court persuaded both sides, as well as the Israel Medical Association, to continue negotiating under court auspices instead of the residents hanging up their stethoscopes and permanently leaving their hospital workplaces. The court will hold another session on Thursday to hear the results of the negotiations, which are being held in a good atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee, which on Monday had scheduled an urgent session to discuss the residents’ complaints on Wednesday, cancelled the session on Tuesday without an explanation.

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