A time clock at Ichilov Hospital - Daniel Bar-On
A time clock at Ichilov Hospital. Photo by Daniel Bar-On
Text size

Hundreds of doctors have pledged not to sign in and out of work using time clocks, which they will be required to do starting Wednesday.

The 3,000-member doctors organization Arbel is launching a campaign against the new requirement and is planning to hold meetings over the next few days to decide what steps to take.

The Israel Medical Association agreed in August to the government's request that doctors who work at public medical institutions sign in and out of work.

The system will require doctors to sign in and out of their workplace by swiping a magnetic card or by using their cell phones to call in to a sign-in service that tracks their location at the time of the call.

To date, more than 8,000 doctors have signed up for the phone service.

In return for using time clocks, doctors will receive a 2.7 percent wage hike as of next month, Dr. Hezi Levy, who heads the Health Ministry's medical administration, wrote in a memo sent yesterday to the directors of Israel's medical centers.

There will also be additional pay for after-hours work and new rates for on-call and duty shifts, as well as a day off after weekend shifts.

Use of the time clocks will also make medical residents eligible for grants and enable doctors with children to get certain welfare benefits.

Under the time clock arrangement, the workweek of doctors in the public health system will be reduced from six days to five, based on a flexible framework of 41.5 hours per week.

On-call shifts and weekend or night duties will be compensated with extra payment.

The service selected for signing in and out by cell phone is called Ok2go, which monitors the doctors' location when they use it.

"Doctors will be able to sign in by means of a telephone call and voice check-in, with the system feeding in the location of the doctors when they make the call, based on the location of the antennas, or by means of an application on the new generation of cellular devices," said Ok2go CEO Shmuel Madar. "We have predefined the doctors' working areas in keeping with the existing antennas at the hospitals, and verification of the location will be made only at the time the call to the service is placed, without the possibility of permanently following the location of the doctor."

Madar said the employers will get the reports once a month. The reports will note the location of the doctor at the time they placed the call to the sign-in service.