Hadassah Doctors Stage Two-hour Strike to Protest Management's Conduct

Calling the administration's conduct 'destructive,' Hadassah doctors intensify their labor sanctions.

Olivier Fitoussi

Physicians at Hadassah hospitals staged a two-hour strike on Thursday, to protest what they call the management's "continued destructive conduct."

Committees representing the hospital's department heads and senior physicians called for the work stoppage between 8 A.M. and 10 A.M. The strike did not include emergency or life-saving procedures at Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, and Hadassah University Hospital, Mt. Scopus.

"In light of the management's continued destructive conduct, and its refusal to meet with the doctors' representatives to correct this, we are intensifying our protest," the committees wrote in a letter to the hospitals' doctors.

Thursday's strike marks the first since a recovery plan was signed for Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Organization in May. Doctors claim that management has not reimbursed funds taken from their pensions and that the administration's conduct is detrimental to the hospital's human capital, in part because it is driving senior physicians to leave the institution.

Last weekend, doctors threatened to cease all cooperation with the administration.

In a letter to Hadassah’s acting director general, Prof. Tamar Peretz, committees representing department heads and senior doctors at both Hadassah hospitals said that if problems with the physicians’ insurance coverage aren’t fixed, the doctors “will cease cooperating with management on every issue except those entailed by daily work or those liable to hurt patients.”

“We don’t want the patients to suffer, but we can’t work with an administration that isn’t telling us the truth,” said Prof. Dror Mevorach, who chairs the department heads’ committee.

A labor dispute was declared more than two weeks ago, meaning doctors can begin sanctions any time. But while sanctions would pressure the administration, they could also send the hospital back down the hole from which it escaped not so long ago thanks to state aid.