State petitions labor court to stop doctors' resignations

A-G considers mass resignation letters illegal; Hospital Management Office preparing for likelihood that residents may not show up.

September 1, 2011 13:23
1 minute read.
Physicians demonstate outside Knesset [file]

Doctors demo311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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The State Attorney's Office filed an urgent petition to the Labor Court on Thursday, requesting an injunction to prevent the resignation of specialist doctors.

The move follows an announcement by the Health Ministry on Wednesday that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein considered the mass resignation letters turned in by medical residents as illegal.

Analysis: A good, but not revolutionary, deal

Despite the illegality of the move, the Hospital Management Office is preparing for the possibility that the residents may not show up for work on Sunday, when the resignation letters were scheduled to go into effect.

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Young doctors and medical residents have voiced displeasure with the newly signed agreement between the Israel Medical Association (IMA) and the Finance Ministry that followed a five-months long labor dispute.

More than 1,000 residents and dozens of specialists signed and deposited letters of resignation three weeks ago, that were scheduled to come into effect a week from now.

At a press conference last Sunday, the Council of Young Doctors said the terms of the agreement to end the the doctors’ dispute were not satisfactory and that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should intervene to prevent the collapse of the health system.

Earlier on Sunday, at the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said the agreement signed with the IMA was a “revolutionary agreement for the health system in Israel.”

He added that the deal was “good news for residents, doctors and the periphery. There will be an additional 1,000 medical residents. This is in addition to the 1,000 beds that we have added after almost a decade in which no beds were added. There will also be salary supplements of an average of 49 percent, grants for doctors who move to the periphery, less shifts, less hours per shift – this is a revolutionary agreement.”

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