Nurses get benefits after Treasury signs deal

Agreement copes with overcrowding in hospitals, increases the number of nurses and improves their work conditions.

Hospital Bed 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Hospital Bed 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Without headlines, rancor or warning strike that lasted longer than a day, the Finance Ministry and the Israel Nurses Association have reached an agreement on ways to cope with overcrowding in the public hospitals, increase the number of nurses in the profession and improve their work conditions.
In an official announcement on Thursday, the Treasury said that it and the Health Ministry had signed an agreement with the union.
Nursing schools around the country will be expanded, while scholarships will be awarded for those nurses who agree to work in the public sector. In addition, higher pay will be given to nurses who choose to work more than the five shifts per week that they are ordinarily given. Nurses in internal medicine departments and emergency departments, as well as nurses in general working in the South, will get rental subsidies.
The elderly who need geriatric care after acute hospitalization will have more places where they can be institutionalized, thus freeing up additional beds in overburdened internal medicine departments.
In addition, more internal medicine departments will be opened, and 116 job slots will be allocated for nurses in emergency rooms.
The Treasury said that the program comes in addition to the one set down in February 2011 to strengthen the public health system.
Deputy Finance Minister MK Yitzhak Cohen (Shas) welcomed the agreement and praised the nurses for their hard word and devotion.
“We made every effort to help and find solutions for their unique problems,” he said.
Wage chief Ilan Levin added that he was pleased that an agreement was reached without the work relations suffering harm.