doctor strike haifa_311.
(photo credit: Piotr Fliter/Ramban Medical Center)
Hospital residents were expected to inform the High Court of Justice Sunday morning of
their decision to renew negotiations with the Finance Ministry.
The doctors came to this decision after hours of heated discussion on Saturday. However,
they said that they would not return to work immediately. They will
first submit a draft of negotiations, and only if the state consents and
the High Court approves it, will they return to the hospitals.
Health Ministry looks to get residents back to work
Residents appeal to High Court after talks fail
Court to hear residents' resignation petition
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Saturday evening called on medical
residents who requested to resign to return to negotiations with the
Finance Ministry, Channel 10 news reported.
During a meeting with
officials from the Health Ministry and the Treasury, Netanyahu stressed
that "it doesn't make sense that doctors would call into question the
legal authority and not listen to [Supreme Court] President [Dorit]
Beinisch and return to negotiations."
The residents who were sharply criticized by the High Court of Justice on
Thursday night, had until Sunday to respond whether they would return to
negotiations with the Finance Ministry or face contempt-of-court orders from the
National Labor Court.
The young doctors at hospitals in the Center of the
country and at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa have been outraged by conditions
set down in the labor accord signed between the Israel Medical Association (IMA)
and the ministry in August.
More than 300 residents have resigned and
walked off their job, while a few dozen specialists have signed resignation
letters but not yet carried them out. Their main demand now is that the contract
be in effect only for three or four years, and not the nine years agreed to by
A demonstration in support of the rebel residents will be held
in the capital on Sunday by the Student Association of the Hebrew University’s
Faculty of Medicine. The medical students will go to the two Hadassah University
Medical Centers and Shaare Zedek Medical Center where they have clinical
studies, and try to get patients to sign a petition in favor of the residents’
The demonstration will mean that the students will stay away
from their studies until noon.
Meanwhile, Prof. Shlomo Mor-Yosef, until
recently director- general of the Hadassah Medical Organization, is abroad until
Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman announced on Thursday
night that Mor-Yosef had agreed to serve as his personally appointed “project
manager” to resolve the doctors’ crisis and to advise him about it. After
Mor-Yosef’s denial on Thursday night that he had agreed to take on the position
– which seemingly would pull the rug out from under Prof. Ronni Gamzu, Litzman’s
director-general – Litzman called the former Hadassah
Mor-Yosef finally agreed to be only a temporary adviser to
Litzman but insisted that he will not be a “project manager” and negotiate with
He said he would not do anything to undermine Gamzu, whom
senior Treasury officials have tried to push out because he refused to
immediately fire a number of medical specialists at Rambam, as ordered by
MK Rachel Adatto (Kadima), who is chairwoman of the Knesset’s
Health Lobby and a physician and lawyer, said the attitude of Netanyahu,
formally the health minister, has “revealed itself in all
its ugliness. After nine months of the biggest crisis in the health
system’s history,” the prime minister has done nothing to resolve it,
Adatto called for the establishment of a state investigation
committee to look into the failures of management of the health system. She
called on Netanyahu to “return the keys” and “admit to his failure.”
Ilan Gilon (Meretz) sent an urgent letter to Netanyahu and demanded that he
cease trying to weaken and even dismiss Gamzu. “Prof. Gamzu is one of the best
Health Ministry directors-general,” Gilon said.