Finance Minister Yair Lapid ordered Treasury wage chief Kobi Amsalem and deputy budgets head Moshe Bar- Simantov to immediately transfer the full budget necessary to pay bonuses to hospital residents studying a specialty in hospitals in the periphery, or in fields where there is a manpower shortage.
The grants were approved by the Treasury when it signed a wage contract with the Israel Medical Association in August 2011. However, in recent weeks, the Treasury seemed to be backtracking and refusing to pay the generous grants – tens of thousands of shekels or more per person – to the doctors, saying there was no funding for them.
Lapid told IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman on Thursday that he had instructed the senior two ministry officials to transfer the grant money without delay.
“The medical residents are at the forefront of medical care to the citizen. We put our lives in their hands, and concern for proper working conditions is critical. I will not allow the public healthcare system to collapse. The State of Israel will honor the agreements it has signed,” Lapid said.