The Israel Medical Association heard its first criticism from Supreme Court Justice Dorit Beinisch on Tuesday, as -- appearing in the High Court of Justice -- she said that the doctors "do not now seem interested in negotiations" with the Treasury.
Commenting on an appeal to the court (by David Forer, a lawyer representing patients) that would force Prime Minister and formally Health Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to intervene in the doctors’ labor dispute, the three-justice panel (including Esther Hayout and Yitzhak Amit) declined to do so by issuing a long, 108-paragraph ruling and said that too much effort has been wasted in the last week trying to win public opinion than on negotiating the issues. The appellants were referred to the National Labor Court, which is dealing with the 136-day dispute between the doctors and the Treasury.
The IMA responded that the prime minister need not intervene in every labor dispute but that he should in this one, given that he holds the health portfolio and the necessary decisions on funding have not been made to find a solution. It did not agree with Beinisch that it was more interested in persuading public opinion than in negotiating.