Furious over the passage of the “Reasonableness Law” by the coalition on Monday, the Israel Medical Association – which insists that the change will cause severe harm to the practice of medicine – instituted a strike on a reduced Shabbat schedule in most hospitals and clinics around the country but continued to treat urgent cases.
However, at 3 pm, the Bat Yam Labor Court acceded to the Health Ministry’s request and ordered the doctors to return to work. “We respect the decision of the labor court, but we do not agree with the decision,” said IMA chairman Prof. Zion Hagay.
“In light of this, we instructed the doctors to return to their work, after a strike that lasted throughout most of the working day. We have a long struggle ahead of us, and our announcement this week of a labor dispute will allow us more tools to continue, including the possibility of starting a general strike, as distinguished from a protest strike to which the labor court referred.
“Abolishing the reason for reasonableness constitutes a real and tangible danger to the health system and the medical teams, and this is not a theoretical concern. We intend to exhaust all the procedures and measures at our disposal to fight the evil decree,” said Hagay.
Emergency services excluded from strike
The emergency rooms and community clinics in all the Jerusalem-area hospitals had been excluded from the strike and operated as usual because of the large number of people in the area.