Court rejects gov't appeal to stop doctors' sanctions

After some eight hours of deliberations by National Labor Court president Nili Arad, the Finance Ministry, the Health Ministry and the doctors’ non-state employers (Clalit Health Services, the Hadassah Medical Organization and other voluntary hospitals) received a second blow on Thursday night -- refusal by the Jerusalem court to issue restraining orders against the Israel Medical Association, which began sanctions three months ago.
Work rules "by the book" are officially set according to previous contracts and Health Ministry regulations, but they are rarely carried out because of the lack of medical manpower and infrastructure. The appellants, who wanted the court to reverse the decision some 10 days ago of the Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court not to forced the doctors to work normally, were trying to head off the IMA decision to "work to rules" starting July 1.
The judge ruled that the two sides will hold "intensive negotiations on Sunday and then report back to the court on Monday." In the meantime, the doctors will be allowed to work "by the book" but in a modified way that will mean more moderate sanctions than they had planned, such as residents doing only six night and weekend shifts -- instead of up to 14 in today’s reality -- per month.
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