Doctors’ sanctions to resume as negotiations fail

Israel Medical Association charges that Treasury refuses to discuss upgrading work conditions; hospitals to function on Shabbat schedule.

doctors protest 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
doctors protest 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Sanctions by public sector doctors will resume on Monday in the medical centers around the country, after the Israel Medical Association Thursday night charged that the Treasury had refused to discussed upgrading manpower slots in the hospitals and failed to advance negotiations.
The hospitals will function on a reduced Shabbat schedule in which only urgent and lifesaving operations will be held, but duty doctors will be in the wards.
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On Tuesday, only oncological and other urgent surgery will be performed; other departments will function as usual.
On Wednesday, a full strike will be held in the Dan-Petah Tikva and Haifa community health fund clinics of Clalit Health Services.
On Thursday, hospital operating rooms will perform only oncological and other urgent surgery, with all other hospital departments functioning normally.
A negotiating session with Treasury wage division officials at IMA headquarters that ended late last Thursday triggered the decision to continue sanctions, which have been held on and off for two months. IMA chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman said that while the Finance Ministry was willing to talk in principle about ways to promote advancement for doctors, they "spoke only in general in a way that did not state what they are offering." As for the issue of the 12.17 percent wage erosion from December 2007 to March 2011, the IMA said it "heard nothing new" from the Treasury.
As for the critical issues of the overburdened medical residents and giving quality care to patients in the periphery, the Treasury bureaucrats "refused to discuss them," the IMA charged.
However, the Treasury spokesman countered that the IMA "zigzagged" and has "tried to mislead the public" in Knesset committee appearances about its demands to raise wages especially for senior doctors. The IMA continues to harm and take advantage of the ill to promote interests that serve a small group of doctors and disregards the government’s proposals, which are meant to solve the real problems of the health system -- the residents, the periphery and medical specialties with too few doctors."