Knesset health caucus to debate doctors’ sanctions

Emergency session to be held to discuss labor dispute; Prime Minister Netanyahu has so far declined to intervene.

August 2, 2011 04:37
1 minute read.
Physicians demonstate outside Knesset [file]

Doctors demo311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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The Knesset’s health lobby will hold an emergency session on Tuesday to discuss the ongoing doctors’ labor dispute, which was declared 135 days ago.

Despite demands by the doctors that he intervene, Prime Minister (and formally Health Minister) Binyamin Netanyahu has so far declined.

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Israel Medical Association chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman, who said eight days ago that he would not eat until Netanyahu intervenes and brings a solution to end the strike, is continuing his hunger strike.

The health lobby, headed by Kadima MK and physician Rachel Adatto, said it will hold an open meeting with participation of lawmakers from all parties – opposition and coalition – before the Knesset goes on vacation.

Meanwhile, the doctors’ sanctions will continue on Tuesday, with hospital outpatient clinics, diagnostic institutes and day hospitals closed but surgical theaters working normally.

On Wednesday, only emergency and oncological surgery will be carried out, and outpatient and inpatient facilities will work normally.

Deputy Health Minister MK Ya’acov Litzman said on Monday that he and his director-general, Dr. Ronni Gamzu, met in his office with the directors-general of all the public general hospitals to discuss the strike. He wanted to “hear about how they are coping with the complex reality in recent days and responsible ways to solve the crisis,” the ministry spokeswoman said.

The statement added that Litzman “praised the hospital directors for the great effort they are investing to reduce harm to patients and for their great cooperation and experience to advance toward an agreement and end the strike.”

Litzman said that he would “make every effort to bring about a compromise and conclude the dispute and believes that he will succeed in the coming days.”

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