Doctors, Treasury reach agreement in principle

After 158-day struggle, Finance Ministry reportedly agreed to improve agreement to a 46-49% pay rise over 10 years; IMA meets to discuss deal.

By SHAY NIV/GLOBES
August 24, 2011 10:34
1 minute read.
Dr. Leonid Eidelman and Yuval Steinitz

Dr. Leonid Eidelman and Yuval Steinitz 311. (photo credit: Courtesy: Finance Ministry)

 
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After a 158-day struggle and 46 hours of talks, the Israel Medical Association and the Finance Ministry reached an agreement in principle on Wednesday morning.

The IMA secretariat has not yet approved the deal. A series of issues have cropped up in the past hour, which could delay the final signing. IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman is under intense pressure from doctors who oppose the deal. The IMA secretariat was meeting on Wednesday to settle the issue.

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Sources informed Globes that the Finance Ministry agreed to greatly improve the cost of the agreement to 46-49% over ten years from 39-43% over nine years, which the doctors previously rejected.

The increase is not in the form of a direct pay hike, but the general cost pay hikes and incentives on top of the doctors' current salary. Most of the addition will be awarded to doctors in the periphery, specialists in fields with shortages, and doctors who work extra duty shifts. These measures are expected to strengthen government hospitals.

The parties agreed that doctors with up to five years seniority as specialists will, for the first time, be required to carry out two duty shifts per month. Currently, only specialists in emergency rooms and gynecology are required to do this. However, in contrast to previous agreements, the specialists' duty shifts will end at 11 pm, rather than continue throughout the night. The doctors strongly pushed for this change.

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