It’s not only the Israeli doctors who are on strike. On Wednesday, doctors in the Palestinian Authority began a strike of their own, for remarkably similar reasons as the Israeli strike.
PA doctors began their sanctions after the government decided not to approve a number of clauses in an agreement formulated between its representatives and the doctors’ union.
According to the PA-based WAFA news agency, the doctors were surprised when they arrived on Wednesday to sign a collective agreement and the government representatives refused to approve some of the clauses relating to an increase in their salaries.
The report said that the angry doctors left the meeting and decided to cancel all the scheduled operations, close the outpatient clinics and treat only urgent cases.
The doctors reportedly released a statement in which they said, “Those who require urgent surgery will be transferred to a private hospital at the expense of the Ministry of Health.”
WAFA also noted that the PA doctors are calling for the dismissal of the health minister who they allege is destroying the public health system.
All of the above is very similar, if not exactly the same, as the reasons for the strike by the Israeli doctors.
On Wednesday, there was finally some progress made in the Israeli strike, which has been ongoing for over 100 days.
According to the agreement between the Medical Histadrut labor federation and the Finance Ministry, 1,000 positions will be added to the public hospitals nationwide.
These jobs are to be added to the ones that the government agreed to fund in February 2011, as part of its decision at the time to add hospital beds.
The addition of residents’ positions – which are necessary so that the number of residents’ marathon work shifts can be limited to six per month – will begin immediately and be completed within two years.
The remaining positions will be given to specialists and residents, preferably in the less populous areas known as the periphery.
The strike is not over yet, but the sides have promised to conduct negotiations at an accelerated pace on the remaining subjects of contention.