Daily Israel Report

Eldad: Doctors Don't Have a Right to Strike

Former MK Aryeh Eldad told Arutz Sheva that he did not believe doctors had a right to strike.
By David Lev
First Publish: 2/14/2014, 12:42 AM

Professor Aryeh Eldad
Professor Aryeh Eldad
Flash 90

Former MK Aryeh Eldad, who was also in the past the head of a department in Hadassah Hospital, said that he did not think Hadassah doctors had the right to strike. Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Eldad said that “doctors should not be allowed to go on strike, and on this I differ with the head of the doctor's union who said that just like a driver cannot drive without insurance, doctors cannot work without insurance.

"I say that doctors are now allowed to threaten to abandon a hospital, even if they are working without insurance," Eldad said.

Medicine, said Eldad, is a way of life, not just a profession. “I believe that doctors have a conscience, and that is stronger than the desire for money. No one can put life in danger as a tactic in salary negotiations,” Eldad said.

In previous strikes, Eldad said, no lives had been put in danger. “In fact, in the big doctor's strike of the 1980s, the death rate fell. Most doctors know how to walk the line between threats and true sanctions,” he added. “Doctors know that they chose a lifetime commitment when they chose medicine, not just a job. Salaries are secondary.”

The Hadassah strike began Tuesday at both Hadassah Ein-Kerem and Hadassah Mount Scopus medical centers, as a backlash against the Finance Ministry for stalling in negotiations to expand the hospital's budget. The budget cuts have been hurting patients, according to the staff, and the staff is reeling after a month on half-pay.

As a result, the centers decided to close their doors Tuesday, operating on the schedule normally reserved for Shabbat and holidays.