Vast majority of public sides with docs against Treasury

A new poll conducted for IMA finds that majority of Israelis sympathize with doctors, 77% don’t support the Treasury’s positions.

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June 7, 2011 06:04
1 minute read.
Doctors protest outside the Knesset [file]

doctors protest 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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In the battle for public opinion in the doctors’ strike, the physicians appear to be making out far better than the Treasury.

Although sanctions by public physicians have occurred intermittently since April, a new Geocartolography Institute poll conducted for the Israel Medical Association has found that the vast majority of of Israelis sympathize with the doctors and 77 percent don’t support the Treasury’s positions.

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The representative sample of 500 adults was conducted in May, with a polling error of up to 4.4 percentage points. Seventy-three percent of those polled said they support the doctors’ struggle for better pay, while 86% were in favor of more manpower in the hospitals and an improvement of medical services in the periphery.

Geocartography president Avi Degani said it was impressive that “massive support” for the doctors’ cause continues despite the ongoing sanctions. For some parameters, backing is even increasing, he said.

The majority of those polled favored increasing the per-hour wage of young doctors from NIS 42 to NIS 60. Women, more so than men, supported such a raise. People with higher incomes and levels of education were less likely to justify the Treasury’s positions than the rest.

The Finance Ministry stated this week that although negotiations with the IMA have become more regular, no advances have been made in the doctors’ positions.

No sanctions will be held on Tuesday, the eve of Shavuot, and on Wednesday, the festival itself.

On Thursday, outpatient clinics from Tel Aviv southward, including Tel Aviv Sourasky, Assaf Harofeh, Wolfson, Barzilai, Kaplan, the two Hadassah University Medical Centers, Sha’are Zedek Medical Center, Soroka and Josephthal will be closed.

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More sanctions, albeit less severe ones than those that have been called in recent weeks, are expected next week.

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