IMA: No compromise yet on medical residents' demands

Residents agree to delay their mass resignations following a meeting with Prime Minister, and formally health minister, Netanyahu.

By JUDY SIEGEL, JERUSALEM POST STAFF
October 4, 2011 23:48
2 minute read.
IMA chief Leonid Eidelman in hunger strike

Leonid Eidelman 311. (photo credit: JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH)

 
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Prime Minister, and formally health minister, Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday night met with Israel Medical Association chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman, Treasury wage chief Ilan Levin, Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman and other negotiators in the residents’ dispute to hear the various sides and try to help find solutions.

Netanyahu requested that representatives of the medical residents wait a few days to examine the suggestions that were raised during the meeting, a joint statement by the Prime Minister’s Office, the IMA and representatives of the residents said.

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During the meeting, which lasted over two hours, the representatives explained to the prime minister the problematic nature of continuing the agreement and the working conditions. The representatives promised they would respond to the prime minister’s recommendations after they had consulted with the relevant doctors.

Eidelman said after the meeting that in the meantime the prime minister had not provided any solutions to the problem but had given various options.

“We are still waiting for decisions to be made and we hope that in the next few days there will be solutions,” he added.

Despite claims that some medical residents were “so angry” they would resign on Tuesday – even though their voluntary organization agreed to negotiate intensively through Wednesday – all of them turned up at their jobs on Tuesday morning, the Health Ministry reported.

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Netanyahu requested representatives of the medical residents wait a few days to examine the suggestions that were raised during the meeting, a joint statement by the PMO, the IMA and representatives of the residents said.

On Monday, all those involved were panicked, with the ministry preparing the public for the possibility the dearth of residents in the wards could lead to patient deaths.

Work was normal the day after the crisis in which the resignation letters submitted over a month ago by more than 700 young residents were due to go into effect. It seemed as if both the employers (including the government) and the residents were desperate to find a sturdy ladder from which to climb down and find a compromise.

The Health Ministry’s situation room in Jerusalem’s Talpiot quarter had nothing to do except to hear the good news that there were no disruptions caused in the hospitals where residents had threatened to resign.

At 11 p.m., Monday, the National Labor Court persuaded both sides, as well as the IMA, to continue negotiating under court auspices instead of the residents hanging up their stethoscopes and permanently leaving their hospital workplaces.

The court will hold another session on Thursday to hear the results of the negotiations, which are being held in a good atmosphere.

Meanwhile, the Knesset Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee, which on Monday had scheduled an urgent session to discuss the residents complaints on Wednesday, cancelled the session on Tuesday without explanation.

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