Community physicians join doctors’ protests with major demo

Banners raised declaring demands for higher level of medicine in clinics, which have mostly been spared upheaval during the current strike,.

By JUDY SIEGEL ITZKOVICH
August 15, 2011 02:59
1 minute read.
IMA protest

IMA protest 311. (photo credit: JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH)

 
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Although all hospital and community medical services around the country will return to normal on Monday, they were severely handicapped on Sunday with medical centers run on emergency schedule.

The problems were compounded by the first demonstration since April by general practitioners and family physicians from around the country. Hundreds assembled in Tel Aviv to press the government to improve their ability to treat patients, especially allowing them to devote more than five to seven minutes to each patient in the health fund clinics; wage demands took the back seat in their protests, as these will be dealt with in a final settlement.

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The community physicians held banners declaring their demands for a higher level of medicine in clinics, which have mostly been spared upheaval during the current strike that has affected mostly the hospitals.

On Sunday, Clalit Health Services’ clinics were closed down in protest. All general, geriatric and psychiatric hospitals in the country were affected by the sanctions except for day oncology units, in-vitro fertilization and dialysis units and other urgent facilities. The ministry’s district health offices and well-baby clinics were also shut down.

Meanwhile, ministry director- general Dr. Ronni Gamzu on Sunday demanded of all government hospital directors a list – by Monday morning – of those hospital physicians under their aegis who signed letters of resignation, as a protest until the current negotiations with the Treasury reach a satisfactory conclusion. These MDs are still on the job, however, as the letters take effect only after 30 days.

Previously, over 1,000 medical residents sent in their resignations, and these too will not take effect until a month after their presentation.

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