Striking Israeli Doctors Agree to Mediated Talks With Finance Ministry

Israel Medical Association agrees to mediation on condition the negotiations last a week, over the course of which public health care institutions can continue to strike.

The Israel Medical Association said in a discussion at the High Court on Monday that it would be willing to hold mediated talks on points of contention with the Ministry of Finance, so long as certain conditions are upheld. Doctors on Sunday renewed strike action that has been conducted intermittently since April.

The IMA demanded that the mediated negotiating process last a week, over the course of which public health care institutions could continue to strike. They also stipulated that the mediator be allowed to turn to the prime minister if needed to solve the dispute between the ministry and the IMA.

Doctors strike
Alon Ron

The points of conflict between the doctors and the Finance Ministry are the length, cost and distribution of the agreement, as well as the requirement that doctors clock in for shifts. With regards to the distribution of the agreement, the IMA is pushing to receive a pay-raise that that will take place over the course of three-years, and not eight-years, as the ministry has offered.

The High Court discussion took place on Monday afternoon, and was presided by three judges, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch. Beinisch criticized the doctors last week, saying she feels that the strike has transformed from a means to an end to an end in and of itself.