(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Deputy Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman wants physicians to work until age 70 and
not the official retirement age of 67 to alleviate the shortage of employed
However, a senior medical administrator told The Jerusalem Post
that the idea was “half baked” and not thought out, as the most veteran hospital
physicians are the highest paid and not necessarily most motivated to work hard
Litzman made his statement Thursday at a conference at
Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center.
It was not stated whether the pension age
for doctors would increase as an option or a requirement.
physician, who insisted on remaining anonymous, said that there is no legal
restriction today on how long a doctor may work. After 67, numerous hospital
physicians who have officially retired are hired with a personal contract to
continue. Thus, they get their pension and more if the hospital wants them. But,
he continued, if all doctors are required to work until their 70th birthday,
they are the best paid and will not necessarily be motivated to work hard or
efficiently, he said.
Litzman’s proposal, he concluded, was “pulled out
of a hat, without careful consideration.
Any medical institution that
chooses to hire a doctor after pension age can do so now. There is no law
Asked to comment, the Israel Medical Association (IMA) –
which was taken by surprise by Litzman’s statement – said that “in principle, we
are not opposed to delaying the pension age for doctors, but they must receive
higher payment scales for working longer,” the IMA said.
It did not
comment on whether it would approve a mandatory hike in pension age or
only an optional one.
On Tuesday, the IMA will hold an emergency meeting
in the Knesset initiated by Kadima MK Rachel Adatto, who is a
lawyer by profession.
Since 1995, there has been a trend of fewer
physicians per 100,000 residents, and it has become more prominent since
The number of working physicians under the age of 44 has declined
200 every year.
Although the rate of new doctors in the European Union
has increased by nine per 100,000 residents, the Israeli figure is only
100,000. Medicine is a less attractive field of study among university
than before and compared to other fields, said the IMA, which demanded
additional budget allocations as incentives for doctors in 2011. In
too many young doctors who do postdoctoral medical research abroad do
to Israel due to inadequate research infrastructure and jobs here.