Israeli Doctors Threaten to Step Up Protests in Bid to Improve Work Conditions

Doctors at several hospitals announce hunger strike to begin Wednesday; residents claim Israel Medical Association not doing enough for doctors’ struggle.

Israeli doctors and residents are threatening to step up their struggle for improved working conditions after receiving news that the Israel Medical Association and the Finance Ministry may have drafted a new agreement in a bid to end the months-long strike.

Doctors at several hospitals, who feel that the Israel Medical Association is not doing enough for the doctors’ struggle, have announced that they will begin a hunger strike on Wednesday, along with other medical staffers that have already stopped eating as part of the cause.

Doctors strike.
Hagai Frid

A representative of the residents is scheduled to meet with Israel Medical Association chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman in the protest tent his has erected in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on Tuesday to discuss developments in talks.

Eidelman has been on a hunger strike for over a week.

“Mirsham”, an advocacy organization for medical residents has made it clear that the IMA cannot move forward with a deal without the residents’ stamp of approval.

“The Israel Medical Association is continuing the same organizational steps using the same methods, striking one day in the operating room, one day in the clinics, and then it fades,” Dr. Zvi Klein, head of the doctors’ union at Meir Hospital said on Tuesday.

“The IMA wants to placate the area, and we want to wake it up,” Klein said, adding “the current situation is getting held up, Eidelman has turned into a ‘Shahid’ (holy warrior) and this is not enough for us.”