Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Ilan Levin 311.
(photo credit: Yael Simhon)
Although a general strike in all public hospital wards and outpatient clinics
was officially held on Tuesday, those who needed urgent care received
Doctors’ strikes reappear as negotiations go nowhereIMA claims ‘incitement against doctors’ by Treasury
The Israel Medical Association, which launched a series of sanctions
six weeks ago to demand reorganization of the public health system and a
significant increase in doctors’ wages, says its members are not endangering
their patients and that it is well aware that continuous sanctions that disrupt
medical care will turn many supporters among the public against them.
IMA’s “exception committees” in all the hospitals approved more than half of the
100 requests for treatment presented by patients and their doctors in hospitals
around the country.
On Wednesday, sanctions will be carried out in some
Clalit Health Services and Kupat Holim Leumit community clinics.
Clalit, clinics will be closed in Ra’anana, Herzliya, Kfar Saba, Netanya,
Hadera- South, Beersheba, Kirya Gat, Netivot, Ashkelon and Sderot. Leumit
Jerusalem District community health clinics will also be shut down. On Thursday,
the outpatient clinics in hospitals south of Tel Aviv plus the Tel Aviv Sourasky
Medical Center will be shut down. A detailed list of affected hospitals will be
published before then.
Although the Finance Ministry and IMA negotiators
over the dispute have not come any closer to finding a solution, one unpleasant
incident is behind them. Treasury wage chief Ilan Levin – who in an Army Radio
interview last week said the doctors were performing “murder” by endangering
patients during strikes and sanctions – apologized. The IMA welcomed the apology
but said that if Levin had issued it during the last negotiating session on
Thursday, he would have saved “three days of needless strife.”
chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman added it was “unfortunate that Ilan Levin continues
to question the legitimacy of the doctors’ struggle despite the fact that it is
legitimate legally and morally.”
The IMA had complained against Levin to
the Civil Service Commission; with the apology, it will update the
The apology took up only a few words of a sentence in a
six-paragraph letter. While opposing the doctors’ actions and all of their
demands, Levin said he had much appreciation for the work and contributions of
doctors to society and their professional level. “The use of the word ‘murder’
does not represent my views, and I am sorry that they were taken out of
context,” he wrote.
On Sunday, a conference on pathology will be attended
by all the country’s pathologists (who examine biopsies for cancer and other
disease). As a result, during the conference – the IMA said – operations will be
minimized in all the medical centers during that time. On Thursday next week,
all the outpatient clinics will be closed in all public hospitals north of Tel
Aviv, including that at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer.