Doctors' strike to resume today
The Israel Medical Association, whose 17,000 doctors began launching sanctions five weeks ago, is demanding a 50 percent raise per hour.
Doctors across the country plan to resume their sanctions today, disrupting activity in state-run hospitals' operating theaters and performing only urgent operations and surgery to remove cancerous tumors.
The doctors intend to impose similar sanctions on Thursday. Tomorrow the doctors and specialists of the Kupat Holim Clalit health maintenance organization will strike in family clinics in the Dan, Petah Tikva and Haifa regions.
Yesterday the doctors held a one-day strike in state-run hospitals nationwide, operating skeleton crews only. Thousands of operations and non-urgent treatments were delayed and out-patient clinics were closed. During the day more than 100 urgent treatments and operations were permitted.
Negotiations between the doctors and the Finance Ministry are scheduled to resume today. Last Thursday the talks stalemated after the treasury's refusal to discuss increasing the number of beds and hospital personnel. The doctors on their part refused to give up their demand for a sweeping pay rise per hour. The Israel Medical Association, whose 17,000 doctors began launching sanctions five weeks ago, is demanding a 50 percent raise per hour.
Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen said last Wednesday at the Knesset's Health Committee that the treasury was willing to deal with the acute difficulties plaguing the system - including the shortage of doctors in certain fields and in the periphery. But the treasury objects to a solution including private medical services in state-run hospitals.