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      Labor Court to Try to Cure Doctors’ Strike Wednesday

      The Labor Court is to meet with the Finance Ministry and doctors Wednesday and may force them to negotiate an agreement or end the strike.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 7/20/2011, 8:23 AM / Last Update: 7/20/2011, 8:27 AM

      Rambam Hospital

      Labor Court president Nili Arad is to meet with the Finance Ministry and the Israel Medical Association Wednesday afternoon and may force them to negotiate an agreement or end the strike that has dragged on for several weeks.

      Doctors escalated their protest Tuesday by walking off the job for a short while from at least half a dozen hospitals in metropolitan Tel Aviv and Haifa.

      The doctors’ latest protest is against a proposed agreement that they argue will reduce the level of medical care.

      Many doctors strongly oppose a proposed compromise that would add 650 positions for doctors over the next five years, while they demand that 1,000 new positions be provided immediately to reduce long waits and allow more time for proper medical treatment.

      The striking doctors also have demanded better wages and work conditions. New doctors generally receive relative low wages and often have to work 24-hour shifts.

      They also have threatened to form a new organization besides the Israel Medical Association, which they say does not always properly represent them.