Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Ilan Levin 311.
(photo credit: Yael Simhon)
The “bad blood” between the Treasury and the Israel Medical Association was on
display on Sunday as the doctors’ union filed a complaint to the Civil Service
Commission against Finance Ministry wage chief Ilan Levine for allegedly
comparing doctors to perpetrators of killing and murder in an Army Radio
interview last week.
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Levine was heard to say the doctors’ strike was
“immoral” and called them “killers and murderers” who would be to blame if
patients died due to lack of care.
The doctors have treated as usual all
patients in life-threatening situations, even on days of serious sanctions, with
special doctors’ committees to examine all unusual cases not coming under the
criteria for exemptions.
The IMA said Levine had incited to violence
against the physicians, “who are devoted to people and save lives every
As the association had demanded apology but not received one, it
went to the Civil Service Commission, which is responsible for public workers
such as those in the Treasury.
The IMA is resuming sanctions over the
crisis in the public health system and its demands for a 50 percent increase in
physicians’ wages on Tuesday, when the public hospitals, including outpatient
clinics, will suffer from a general strike on a restricted Shabbat schedule.
More will follow this week and the next. The IMA said its representatives would
not sit with Levine until he retracted his statement.
Ministry issued a statement on Sunday commenting on the complaint to the
commission, saying that “the IMA continues not to tell the truth. Instead of
sitting and discussing the issues with the Treasury team to find a solution to
the real problems of the health system, the IMA is busy sending letters. It is
an addition attempt to mislead the public and divert the discussion.
is clear to all that the Treasury is acting to bring about an end to the strike
and that it is interested only in the good of the public.”
concluded that “the IMA’s refusal to climb down from the high tree on which it
has climbed and to approve the punching of a time clock by all doctors is
incomprehensible to the public, who understand that it is not realistic.”