Rambam Medical Center has rejected a Health Ministry order to fire 10 senior doctors who participated Wednesday morning in a job action.
They were among the 31 Rambam physicians who had submitted their resignations to the ministry on Tuesday, joining hundreds of their colleagues in a solidarity move with residents who had resigned in protest over the recent salary agreement signed between the Israel Medical Association and the Finance Ministry.
The National Labor Court ordered medical residents to go back to work, nullifying their resignations in a ruling last month on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Medical interns have also threatened a similar mass resignation, saying they cannot work under the current conditions.
The doctors also joined the rest of the Rambam staff on strike, beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday.
On Tuesday night, Health Ministry director-general Roni Gamzu met with senior medical staff at Rambam and asked the doctors to withdraw their resignations, but the doctors refused, the ministry said.
Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman followed up with an order telling the hospital to fire any doctor who refused to work.
The physicians at Rambam decided at a meeting before their shift began Wednesday to carry out a strike for at least two hours, with the job action likely to end at 10 a.m.
Rambam Medical Center backed the doctors and shut down the hospitals for all but emergency procedures during the job action.