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DOCTORS AT Kaplan Hospital 311.(Photo by: Courtesy)
Treasury: Medical residents separate from senior doctors
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
04/14/2011
Deputy finance minister says "younger, lowerpaid doctors will not be appropriately represented in strike discussions or final outcome of situation.”
After Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen (Shas) called on low-paid medical residents to separate from senior doctors and negotiate with the Treasury on their own, the Israel Medical Association said on Wednesday it was “shocked by the low level to which the Finance Ministry has sunk in the manipulative and irresponsible way” in which it was behaving.

In an official statement, Cohen said the IMA negotiators represent “only senior doctors, and younger, lowerpaid ones will not be appropriately represented in the discussions or final outcome of the situation.”

IMA said Cohen was mistaken if he thought he could divide and rule. The residents “know the system well and don’t need the ‘help’ of the deputy minister to advise them. The residents are partners in our struggle. No one disagrees that the problems of the residents are among the most central in these negotiations, and the demands for manpower slots and funding of [hospital] beds were meant first and foremost to solve the acute problem of overwork of the residents.”

The association called on the Treasury to “devote its time to a real effort to reach agreements on saving the health system, and not to creating disputes and tactics that are aimed at shifting public debate away from the real problems that we face.”

Kadima MK Rachel Adatto, a trained gynecologist and lawyer, said the Treasury lacks a basic understanding of the health system. While residents spend five years studying a specialty, she said, “doctors face three decades of working as a specialist and trying to cope with the serious problems of the system, including the lack of a proper salary. Most of the specialists do not work in private medicine, and the Treasury’s claim that they earn a fortune is intentionally misleading the public.”
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