Doctors: After 7 months, wage talks reach ‘dead end’

IMA chairman says "we're deeply disappointed by Treasury, which seems disconnected from difficult reality of public healthcare system.

DOCTORS AT Kaplan Hospital 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
DOCTORS AT Kaplan Hospital 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Negotiations between the Israel Medical Association and the Finance Ministry on a new wage contract for all public physicians has “reached a dead end,” the IMA said on Thursday afternoon.
“We are deeply disappointed by the Treasury, which seems disconnected from the difficult reality of the public healthcare system and does not bring a suitable and serious solution or significantly change the situation,” said IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman.
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The Treasury issued its own statement, saying that it had offered the IMA an increase of 18 percent and that this had come shortly after the final 24% increment in doctors’ wages that was promised in the previous agreement reached between the two parties.
According to the Treasury, the average physician gets a gross monthly salary now of NIS 26,322, with a resident getting NIS 18,654, a specialist NIS 23,705, and a senior physician NIS 34,428.
Eidelman said that the negotiations had ground to a halt after seven months of talks with the Treasury, which had offered an increase of only 5% over a period of five years.
“This is like giving paracetamol to a cancer patient,” he said.
He added that the Treasury recognized the major health system problems but did not offer solutions, such as giving incentives for bringing in more anesthesiologists or neonatologists, whose numbers are acutely short.
The Treasury offered bonuses of just NIS 1,250 a month gross for an anesthesiology specialist and NIS 625 for a resident in the field.
The IMA said that the additional budget allocated for bringing physicians to the periphery was only 2% – a sum unlikely to bring any professionals to the North, South, or poorer areas in the Center.