Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv 311 (R).
(photo credit: Nir Elias/Reuters)
With the option of mass resignation closed by “tie-up” orders issued by the
National Labor Court on Tuesday, most of the hospital residents from the center
of the country returned to their jobs before Succot began.
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Ministry said it was sure all of them would contact their department heads and
go back to work as instructed by court president Nili Arad.
court ruled that the mass resignations of over 500 residents, as well as the
resignation letters by 200 more who did not actually quit, were illegal and
would have endangered the public. Arad said that as the doctors are “normative
and law abiding,” she was sure that they would observe her ruling and return to
The residents, in hospitals of in the center of the country only,
have been objecting to the nine-year labor contract signed by the Israel Medical
Association together with the employers in late August. The young doctors have
been demanding higher wages, a shortening of the labor contract and other
conditions, including that young specialists cannot be required to work night
and weekend shifts. Despite the tie-up orders, negotiations on a better deal for
the residents will continue, the government said.
The Health Ministry
said that the residents are “loyal and vital partners” in public medicine and
the future generation necessary for its continued existence. The hospitals can’t
function without them, it continued.
“They are the medical residents of
today and the doctors we want to take care of us in the future – they and not
others,” the ministry said, referring to emergency plans to “import” physicians
from other countries. The ministry said it hopes quiet and calm times will
quickly return to the hospitals.
Treasury wage chief Ilan Levin said that
all of the possible solutions presented to the residents so far remain as offers
and called on them to continue to negotiate with the government together with
the IMA. Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz authorized continued negotiations
“within the framework of the signed labor agreement.”