Medical residents expected to tender resignations en masse

Hundreds of residents don't show for work at Rambam, Meir Medical Center; following failed negotiations, residents to hold press conference announcing next move; Health Ministry expected to seek additional injunction.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 10, 2011 08:46
2 minute read.
Doctors protest in Haifa [File]

doctor strike haifa_311. (photo credit: Piotr Fliter/Ramban Medical Center)

Medical residents were expected to announce their next move Monday after negotiations between with the Finance Ministry failed on Sunday, with the residents expected to tender mass resignations. Medical residents scheduled a press conference for later Monday.

Hundreds of residents across the country did not show up for work on Monday. At Rambam Medical Center in Haifa some 70 residents -- out of over 120 that had earlier tendered their resignations -- did not show up.

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Additionally, a number of residents did not show up for work at Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba. Heavy delays were reported in the pediatrics division due to the medical residents not arriving.

The resignations of some 700 medical residents were scheduled to go into effect on Monday. Following the failure of the negotiations to produce a solution to the labor dispute, the sides were expected to meet at the National Labor Court on Monday, where the state will likely request an injunction be issued against the resignations.

Thus far, the National Labor Court has declined to let residents resign over what they claim are unfair conditions agreed upon in the Israel Medical Association’s nine-year labor agreement with the employers, which was signed at the end of August.

After walking out on the talks with the Finance Ministry, the medical residents' representatives expressed frustration with the Treasury's "failure to understand the reality of the situation" and called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to intervene.

Without a compromise, all the sides have much to lose, as the physicians would not be given their jobs back once they carried out their threats to leave, and the Health Ministry desperately looked for other doctors to fill their places.

To prevent outright chaos in the event that the residents resign from their posts in the wards and emergency rooms, the Health Ministry opened a situation room in its Rehov Rivka office that would coordinate and make arrangements for specialists to fill the holes; ministry officials know that the arrangements would be only temporary.

Judy Siegel-Itzkovich and Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report.


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