Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem..
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Doctors at public hospitals will hold workers’ assemblies between 10 a.m. and noon on Sunday, in solidarity with their colleagues at the two Hadassah University Medical Centers in Jerusalem, in Ein Kerem and on Mount Scopus.
Urgent care will be provided in intensive care units, the emergency departments and delivery rooms, and cancer treatment will be provided in oncology departments.
The Hadassah Medical Organization has debt, including pension liabilities, of some NIS 1.3 billion.
The Israel Medical Association announced on Thursday that HMO physicians “were and are ready to make major contributions for the financial recovery of their employer and decided to forgo a “significant part of their 2011 wage accord and significant amounts of their earnings from private medical services.”
The IMA continued, “we learned in recent days that the state is preventing the signing of an agreement between Hadassah physicians and management and demands that they surrender unreasonably even more for an extended period.”
As a result, Hadassah doctors will earn salaries “significantly lower than their colleagues in other hospitals around the country,” the IMA continued.
The association said the physicians were not to blame for the financial decline of the HMO but instead participated in efforts to bring about financial recovery.
For months, all Hadassah employees have been paid only half their salaries on pay day and have had to wait for weeks for the full amount. They have only received half of their January salaries. In addition, many of the conditions set down in the August 2011 agreement that ended the nationwide doctors’ strike have not been implemented, the IMA said.
Months of negotiations between HMO director-general Avigdor Kaplan and the employees resulted in agreement on most topics, but the state “intends to ask the courts for a freezing of assets to make it possible for Hadassah to avoid paying debts it is required by law to pay in accordance with collective agreements,” the IMA said. The running of Hadassah will then be turned over to an external trustee who will make decisions based solely on economic considerations and could make unilateral decisions about the doctors’ salaries and wage conditions, the IMA said.
Instead of giving the public institution the necessary economic support, the Treasury harms HMO, which has a worldwide reputation for excellent medicine and supplies medical services to a million residents of Jerusalem and its environs, the IMA continued.
At the same time, not one senior minister or MK has intervened to end the crisis, the association said. This behavior “turns on a red light for all hospitals around the country.”
During the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, Hadassah employees will demonstrate outside the Prime Minister’s Office.
The IMA called on the state to “act immediately to save Hadassah and its uniqueness.” It added that the doctors are willing to sign immediately on the draft agreement that has been prepared by the sides involved and help save HMO. The association called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yair Lapid and all other ministers and MKs to act immediately to prevent the HMO debacle from reaching the courts.