Internists, nurses walk out of hospitals around country

Doctors unhappy with proposed agreement, demand Netanyahu intervene to solve crisis with Finance Ministry.

Sanctions in the work dispute between doctors and the Treasury were stepped up on Tuesday as all doctors and internists at Kfar Saba's Meir Medical center walked out of their respective departments to protest a possible agreement between the Israel Medical Association and the Treasury in their months-long labor dispute.
Doctors said they are unhappy with parts of the agreement that deal with on-call hours and administrative supervision of work hours, and have called on the Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to intervene immediately to solve the ongoing crisis.
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Dr. Jonah Weisboch, chairman of the Association of Doctors Internisits, told Army Radio that the solution presented by the Finance Ministry does not address the fundamental problems plaguing the health care system.
The Israel Medical Association, for its part, said that the strike was not sanctioned by the union. IMA head Leonard Eidelman said that internists needed to understand that the union also represents them and is doing everything possible to improve work conditions for all doctors.
At Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, nurses walked out of two departments after more patients were admitted than what was allowed. Head of the Nurses Union Elana Cohen told reporters that the agreement on patient capacity is not being respected and a labor dispute will be declared at the hospital.
A few hours later, staff at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital, Haifa's Rambam Hospital, Tel Hashomer, Kaplan and Shalvata Hospitals joined the protest.
At Ichilov Hospital, director Prof. Gabi Barbash joined the staff in their walk-out protest.
Other hospitals were also expected to join the walk-out. Calls for a walk-out were reported at Belinson Hospital and various other health centers.