Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the agreement reached
overnight between medical residents and the Finance Ministry, which
brought to an end months of fraught labor negotiations.
"Israeli citizens benefit from the agreement and the public medical system is stronger," Netanyahu said.RELATED:
Residents, Treasury reach tentative agreement
Residents, Treasury agree Zamir, Mironi to mediate
The last kinks in the agreement between the government and disgruntled hospital
residents were worked out by legal advisers on Wednesday night. The new
agreement will bring an end to
the unrest that has plagued the health system for months.
Residents had scheduled a press conference to present details of the deal for Thursday morning but shortly before its start, cancelled their participation in it.
Minister Yuval Steinitz also lauded the deal as an excellent agreement
that would advance a historic reform in the public health system.
an interview with Israel Radio on Thursday morning, Steinitz added that
the doctors had gained significantly in their salaries. He stressed,
however, that the agreement signed between the Treasury and the IMA had
not been breached by any means.
A total of 296
residents at hospitals in the center of the country and in Haifa agreed to the
deal mediated by former Supreme Court justice Prof. Yitzhak Zamir and
University of Haifa legal expert Prof. Mordehai Mironi, but 59 residents
at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center – which was home to some of the strongest
opposition to the Israel Medical Association – voted against it.
mediators spent two weeks trying to bring the sides to an agreement. Although
they voted against the proposal, the Tel Aviv doctors realized that they were in
They promised to function normally in their departments and
not take any more action in opposition to the accord.
The mediation team
declined to publicize officially all the details of the agreement until it was
signed. But according to unofficial reports, it includes grants of NIS 60,000
per resident until completion of their residency; a day off per week and extra
pay for doctors who work Friday shifts; fines against hospitals that require
residents to carry out more than six monthly weekend or late-night shifts; an
additional bonus for doctors who work beyond 20 extra monthly hours in shifts;
and the establishment in 2015 of a follow-up committee to determine whether the
residents’ agreement has been carried out as planned or if changes need to be
The mediated agreement between the residents and the Treasury does
not break the nine-year labor agreement signed at the end of August by the IMA
following sanctions that began in April, but it uses its flexibility to provide
extra pay and grants to residents, a guaranteed weekly day off and other
Residents at hospitals in the periphery – who had the most to
gain from August’s accord because of incentive grants for those who move to
outlying areas to practice medicine – did not revolt.
mediated agreement will bring definite improvements to the residents, the young
doctors studying for specialties said that no one was happy or very satisfied,
but they realized that they had reached a dead end in the courts because they
were prevented from resigning en masse from their positions.
current constellation of power, the Treasury is unwilling to make major changes
in the agreement signed by the IMA in August, for fear that such a precedent
would encourage any rebel group in unions to demand renegotiation of a signed
“It was the best we could get,” said residents, who voiced
their anger at the IMA leadership and even called for their resignation.