Daily Israel Report

Doctors Regret Deal; Residents hold Hunger Strike

Doctors at four hospitals protest IMA deal with the government, demand its cancellation. Residents threaten hunger strike.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 9/4/2011, 9:26 PM

Doctors Block Road
Doctors Block Road
Flash 90

Doctors at four hospitals have called on the Israel Medical Association to cancel its agreement with the Treasury within 48 hours. At the same time, resident doctors have begun quitting their jobs – or going on hunger strikes – after a group protest was declared illegal.

Dr. Leonid Eidelman of the IMA received letters Sunday accusing him of “improper representation” and asking that an agreement he reached with the government be revoked. If not, doctors warned, “we will use all legal means at our disposal” to protest the deal.

The IMA recently ended a 158-day doctors' strike by signing a deal that will see doctors' salaries increased by 26% over nine years, plus 17% in exchange for the institution of certain reforms, such as the use of a time clock.

The deal was controversial from the beginning, with both specialists and medical interns expressing their displeasure with the deal.

Resident doctors attempted to continue their own strike by filing their resignations en masse. However, the National Labor Court ruled the move illegal.

In response, some interns have begun quitting one by one. Those at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer decided to hold a hunger strike instead. “The state won't let us quit, so we're taking charge,” organizers explained.

The striking interns wore signs saying, “Warning! The doctor caring for you is on a hunger strike.”