Over 500 residents, interns, and medical students held a demonstration on Saturday night in front of the home of Economy Minister Orna Barbivai in protest against her intention to not adopt the proposed outline of shortening shifts from 26 to 16 hours with two hours of overlap.
Barbivai instead intends to offer an outline in which shifts will be shortened to only 22 hours with one single overlapping hour instead.
Barbivai responded to the criticism in an interview with Army Radio: "The interns are right, there is no argument. But the proposal of some of them talks about shortening the shifts in 10 hospitals first, leaving 75% of the hospitals with 26-hour shifts. I propose to set a realistic goal and descend gradually."
In addition, over 1,500 residents, interns, and students have signed an ultimatum petition stating that if a 16 + 2 outline is not adopted, the residents intend to resign, the interns refuse to start a residency and the students refuse to start an internship.
Dr. Liran Nevat Golan, who specializes in emergency medicine, said on Sunday morning in an interview with Army Radio: "Any solution that is not 18 hours - will not be accepted. We will all resign and shut down the hospitals in the country. We have signed a letter stating that we can not continue like this.
"We do not sleep or eat. I do nine shifts a month - it's crazy. Poor patients, how can I treat them when I fall asleep in front of their eyes at five in the morning? I fell asleep on the floor in the emergency room," he added.