Leumit Health Services has reportedly decided to “cap” the salaries earned by independent physicians, mostly in Jerusalem, who are working for them, thus limiting the maximum amount of money they can earn each month. The smallest health fund sent a letter to all its physicians telling them the maximum each doctor could earn, even though most of Leumit’s doctors - especially those outside Jerusalem - get a fixed salary that is not dependent on how many patients they see.
One Jerusalem physician told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that “independent doctors’ incomes vary each month, according to the number of patients seen. Some months are busier than others. The result of this cap on income has resulted in some doctors leaving the health fund; some are no longer working a full month and instead working less so as not to exceed the capping limit. “I know of several doctors who are knocking off from their working schedule a whole week per month,” the doctor said.
As a result of working fewer hours, the doctor maintained, queues for doctors are “longer, patients are frustrated and angry, and Leumit secretaries have informed me that the Leumit clinics are emptying out.”
Asked to comment, Leumit management said that “in recent years, our doctors have received significant wage increases, partly as a result of the 2011 nationwide agreement with the Israel Medical Association and also from internal agreements with our own physicians.”