Medical Strike Leaves Half of Israeli Hospitals Without Residents

Starting Wednesday morning, medical residents in hospitals throughout Israel walked off the job to protest deal being drafted between IMA, Finance Ministry.

Medical residents announced an indefinite strike on Wednesday as they continued organizing protests throughout the country against a deal being drafted between the Israel Medical Association and the Finance Ministry to end the doctors' strike.

Since Wednesday morning, medical residents stopped working in a number of hospitals throughout the country.

Around 300 people from Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv marched to the IMA offices in Ramat Gan to demand that their requests be met. The police have declared the protest illegal, and have blocked demonstrators from entering the building.

"This is a struggle for the sake of all of us," said Dr. Gilad Ratan, a gynecological expert at Ichilov Hospital and an organizer of the protests. 'At every level, there are problematic things in the agreement being formulated. "The medical residents are conducting their struggle and we are with them."

IMA chairman Leonid Eidelman is travelling to Jerusalem to return to negotiations with the Finance Ministry after talks reached an impasse early Wednesday morning.

Medical interns go on strike July 20, 2011 (Nir Kafri)
Medical interns on strike at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, July 20, 2011.Nir Kafri

The IMA said Eidelman would visit Ichilov Hospital on Thursday to meet with striking medical personnel. The residents have planned for another protest on Thursday in Jerusalem.