doctor strike haifa_311.
(photo credit: Piotr Fliter/Ramban Medical Center)
Over 100 medical residents arrived at Sheba Medical Center at Tel
Hashomer near Tel Aviv Tuesday morning to publicly sign resignation letters in the
latest step of their labor dispute against the Finance Ministry. The
residents said they would tender their resignations if their demands
in negotiations with the Treasury were not met.
RELATED:IMA chief announces hunger strike to protest labor dispute
Meanwhile, top officials of the Israel Medical
Association continued their march from Ramat Gan to Jerusalem, leaving
Kfar Chabad Tuesday morning. Head of the doctors' union, Dr. Leonid Eidelman, who is leading the march, announced a one-man hunger strike on Tuesday as the work dispute continued to escalate.
Treasury says doctors must accept arbitration
Sanctions imposed by doctors and medical residents continued, with only emergency and oncological surgeries taking place.
Prime Minster's Office appeared ready to involve itself in the doctors'
strike on Tuesday, with PMO Director-General Eyal Gabbai set to meet
with IMA officials. Eidelman was expected to meet with Gabbai during a
break in his protest march to Jerusalem.
Eidelman, who said that the health system is collapsing, said Netanyahu
had the power to halt the decline by immediately adding 1,000 manpower
slots for doctors, although he did not say where these physicians would
come from. Reducing the number of night and weekend shifts by medical
residents to six monthly – about half of the current number – and
finding ways to increase doctors in specialties with meager medical
manpower, would also stop the decline.
He also suggested attracting physicians to the periphery, where the
level of medicine is considerably lower; and increasing doctors’ wages
by 50 percent an hour.
“Where has Health Minister Netanyahu disappeared?” Eidelman asked. “Look
into the patients’ eyes. Look in the eyes of the doctors, in the eyes
of the residents. Carry the heavy burden. Today, not tomorrow.”
Eidelman began his four-day march at 4 p.m. on Monday; on Tuesday he
will be at the Latrun interchange; on Wednesday he will stay overnight
at Moshav Beit Zayit; and on Thursday he will ascend to Jerusalem.
Once in the capital, IMA leaders will march to the Prime Minister’s
Office, where they hope to leave a petition signed by tens of thousands
of physicians and others who support the struggle for a better health
system. Eidelman is expected to hold his hunger strike in a tent
opposite the Prime Minister’s Office starting Thursday.