Hadassah Doctors to Strike for Two Hours

Doctors will strike from 8-10 a.m. Thursday morning over disputes with management about the May restructuring agreement.

Cynthia Blank ,

Hadassah hospital, closed during strike
Hadassah hospital, closed during strike
Flash 90

The Hadassah Medical Center labor crises continues despite a restructuring agreement signed with the state four months ago. Physicians will strike Thursday morning from 8:00-10:00 a.m. in response to their displeasure over parts of the agreement, Walla! News reports. 

For months the hospital has been trying to implement the agreement that was signed between employees and Hadassah management and Israel.  

As part of the agreement, 700 administrative and maintenance staff have been laid off, remaining workers have taken a salary cut each month as part of the recovery program of the hospital. 

The agreements was seen as a solution to the intense strike that broke out in February over poor working conditions and staff suffering half-pay for a month. Several senior doctors also quit as a result of Hadassah's inability to compensate missing wages. 

However, management has struggled to get employees to implement different aspects of the agreement. Disputes arise frequently between the two sides, sparking media headlines. 

Even before the doctors declared this latest strike, acting CEO of the hospital, Professor Tamar Peretz, called on them to avoid interviews. "What Hadassah needs now is maturity and responsibility and not more news items," she wrote. "Hadassah is not Israel Railways or the Port of Ashdod." 

Peretz has been serving as interim CEO, following the resignation of Dr. Avigdor Kaplan, who left the hospital over disputes with the restructuring plan. Since then, Peretz has made many opponents among the hospital staff. 

"Our precious house has been in the middle of a public storm for a long time," Peretz continued. "There are signs we are emerging from the crisis...However, in recent days we have moved into another wave of negative publicity," she wrote, likely referring to reports that Hadassah doctors are not performing organ transplants this month. 

"Let's reduce the flames," she asked in her letter, "We do not need more impassioned letters or more newspaper articles...we need to go back to work in peace and restore Israel's confidence in Hadassah." 

Doctors, however, were not convinced by Peretz's letter, responding that she is a "CEO who lost control and is now looking for others to blame for her failure." 

Amnon Baruchyan, chairman of Hadassah's administrative staff was infuriated by Peretz's letter and responded with his own which was distributed to employees of the hospital. 

"Professor Peretz shows demagoguery and incitement. How easy it is for a failed CEO to find scapegoats," Baruchyan wrote. "How easy to write words without meaning and without any real proof behind them." 

"Last week the doctors cut ties with Hadassah's administration until it will be replaced, and so have we. We fulfilled our role as part of the recovery plan...while hospital officials just engaged in wars."