Sanctions to continue during mediation of doctors' dispute

Former Clalit dir-gen mediating between the IMA, Treasury on issues including new wage agreement, benefits for residents and the use of a time clock.

August 17, 2011 05:28
2 minute read.
Empty hospital corridor [illustrative]

Hospital beds 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The Israel Medical Association and the Finance Ministry started a week-long process of non-binding mediation on Tuesday in the hope of breaking the dead end in negotiations.

The standoff has dragged on since the “breakthrough” that ended IMA chairman Leonid Eidelman’s hunger strike but did not go any further to resolve the four-and-a-half- month labor dispute.

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The mediator is Dr. Yitzhak Peterburg, formerly director-general of Clalit Health Services and currently president and CEO of Cellcom. The 54-year-old physician will try to bridge the gap between the two sides on the most difficult remaining issues including a new wage agreement, benefits for medical residents and the use of a time clock, among others.

Even during the course of mediation, the doctors’ sanctions will continue, said the IMA late on Monday night, giving a list of scheduled disruptions through August 23.

Although the public medical system functioned normally on Tuesday, sanctions on Wednesday will close down outpatient clinics, day hospitals and diagnostic institutes in public general, psychiatric and geriatric hospitals in the north, except to inpatients.

However, physicians will come to work to give counseling that day. In addition, operating rooms in hospitals in the south will offer only emergency and oncology surgery.

All other hospital functions will be normal. In the community, the southern district of Clalit will be on strike except for urgent services.

On Thursday, the sanctions will be switched. Outpatient clinics, day hospitals and diagnostic institutes in general, general and psychiatric hospitals in the south will shut down, except for inpatients.

In the north, surgical theaters will handle only emergency and oncology patients. As for the community, Clalit Health Services in Haifa and the Western Galilee will be shut down except for urgent services.

On Friday, minimal regular services in the hospitals and clinics will be provided, and on Saturday, a Shabbat schedule will be put into effect as usual.

On Sunday, August 21, all facilities in the country will function normally, but on Monday, Wednesday’s schedule of hospital sanctions will again be in effect. In the community, the Sharon-Samaria health fund district will be on strike. On Tuesday, the schedule of sanctions set for Thursday will again go into effect, but in the community, the Dan Region-Petah Tikva district will shut down.

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