Doctors at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center went on strike on Wednesday morning, in response to a Health Ministry instruction to immediately fire ten senior doctors.
The doctors had tendered their resignation as part of the mass resignation of senior doctors on Tuesday, out of which 31 were doctors working at Rambam.
Rambam hospital management refused to fire the doctors, saying, “immediately firing these doctors would cause great harm to patients. The management of Rambam, out of consideration for the good of the patients, cannot carry out the instructions of the Health Ministry.”
The strike, decided at a meeting of hundreds of members of staff at Rambam on Wednesday morning, was due to end at 10 A.M., after which the hospital was to return to normal operations. The hospital was to shut down for all but emergency procedures during the strike.
Health Ministry Director General Roni Gamzu visited Rambam on Tuesday evening and asked the senior doctors to withdraw their letters of resignation. According to the ministry, the doctors firmly refused.
Tuesday's resignation of 100 senior doctors was an apparent escalation of the residents' struggle against a National Labor Court decision to cancel their previous collective protest resignation.
The move, the first such planned walk-out by senior public health officials, came as hundreds of medical students employed in hospitals across Israel initiated a solidarity strike earlier Tuesday.
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