doctors operation generic 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
After a two-week respite from sanctions by the Israel Medical Association, which
is demanding a new wage agreement for some 20,000 doctors in the public sector,
a major demonstration is scheduled for Wednesday in Jerusalem just outside the
Inside, the plenum will hold a special session for, among other
things, discussing the doctors’ crisis, even though parliament is still
officially on vacation.
The IMA, chaired by Dr. Leonid Eidelman, said
Tuesday that it was not impressed by the public “intervention” – his first so
far – by Prime Minister and Health Minister Binyamin Netanyahu since the IMA
launched sanctions a few weeks ago.
But even though it was described to
the media as “Netanyahu’s intervention,” there was no mention on it on the Prime
Minister’s Office website, and the statement was reportedly from the Finance
Ministry, which is conducting talks with the IMA.
Ministry officials were told that the prime minister was in fact not intervening
at all and was waiting to see how negotiations develop.
According to the
Treasury announcement, Netanyahu “backed up” the Treasury’s demands that an
integral part of a settlement involving wage increases would be the requirement
that all doctors punch a time clock when starting and ending their time on the
The IMA has strongly opposed this demand, arguing that doctors are
not clerks and that they do medical work for their employers outside their
clinics and hospitals as well.
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Netanyahu also supposedly voiced his
backing for putting an emphasis on wage increases for doctors who work in the
periphery, where there is a shortage of medical specialists.
wage officials did not take advantage of the suspension of sanctions during the
holiday to hold talks on the intermediate days of Pessah, as they are officially
on vacation. The IMA said its senior officials were working during the
intermediate days of the festival and would have been glad to meet but had not
Netanyahu was said to have meet with Treasury officials
about the doctors on Tuesday, received a briefing on details, and reportedly
does not endorse the demands of the IMA.
Two meetings between the IMA and
Treasury officials were set for Tuesday night and Wednesday, but no breakthrough
was expected, the doctors said.
The IMA added on Tuesday that “no
progress has been made so far, and that nothing has been added that can move the
wheels of negotiations and find solutions to saving the collapsing public health
Meanwhile, the Israel Medical Student Association, based at Tel
Aviv University, said they will participate in the big demonstration in the Rose
Garden across from the Knesset on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
The IMA said it
expects over 1,000 doctors to demonstrate against the Treasury during the
Knesset special session, while the students’ association said it would bring
1,000 more of their own to the protest.
Two weeks ago, medical students
ran four kilometers of the Tel Aviv Marathon as a show of support for the IMA’s
The students said they will boycott medical school classes
during the demonstration in Jerusalem.
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