Residents, interns end hunger strike after one day

Hunger strike begun when mass resignation of doctors ruled illegal; doctors ordered to return to work.

September 5, 2011 17:40
1 minute read.
Doctors protest outside the Knesset [file]

doctors protest 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Residents and interns at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, on Monday ended the hunger strike they began on Sunday.

The hunger strike was a response to a National Labor court ruling on Sunday that the mass simultaneous tendering of resignation letters by residents and interns was illegal.

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Despite the agreement signed in late August by the Israel Medical Association and the Finance Ministry to end the six-month long nationwide doctors' strikes, some doctors were still upset with the resolution, and attempted to resign from their positions on Sunday in protest.

The doctors wanted to reopen negotiations and, even after the cessation of the hunger strike, pledged to continue to aggressively protest the agreement.

"This demonstration is one of desperation," hunger strike leader Dr. Eldar Carmel explained Sunday when commencing the protest. "We have done everything we could to alter the agreement.. The only thing we are left with is a hunger strike," he said.

Sunday morning, in a unanimous ruling, the National Labor Court issued an injunction ordering 1,000 residents who signed letters of resignation to report to work as usual.

The court ruled that the resignations signed by the residents were illegal and therefore invalid. "Failure to report to work as stated will constitute an unauthorized abandonment of their jobs by the workers, and will be subject to the appropriate consequences," the court ruled.

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