(photo credit: United Hazala)
A strike by some 5,000 physiotherapists, dietitians, speech therapists, occupational therapists, dental hygienists, genetic counselors, art therapists and other paramedical workers in the public health system that began on Sunday in hospitals and community health clinics around the country, will continue to strike on Tuesday.
The Histadrut labor federation and Eli Gabai, the head of the health workers union in the federation, said the reason for the strike is the “shortage of manpower slots and a decline in standards for the employment of workers in the paramedical sector [by hiring contract workers], which led to the expansion of workload, abusive forms of employment and severe injury to workers and quality of service to the public.”
The ongoing general strike will include paramedical workers employed by the Health Ministry, Clalit Health Services, Meuhedet Health Services, the Hadassah Medical Organization, Shaare Zedek Medical Center, mental health centers and other institutions.
So far it has caused considerable anguish to patients recovering from a stroke and to patients with physical disabilities or speech problems. It also impacts those who have waited weeks or months to get an appointment.