Talks between the Israel Medical Association and the Treasury fell short of yielding results last Wednesday, causing fears the doctors’ strike that began last week could continue into the new week. Doctors began a warning strike last Tuesday, treating only emergency cases.
They are demanding higher wages and better working conditions, including an end to back-to-back shifts which leave hospital doctors on duty for more than 20 hours straight.
The ministry said it will publish “guidelines for hospitals and health funds, and set the limits of the strike to help the public.”
The Israel Medical Association responded, “It should be remembered that all instructions about the strike will be issued by the union’s strike committee.”
“The gaps between the sides are still wide. The Ministry of Finance is prepared to grant doctors a 1% pay hike per year as part of a 5-8 year labor contract. It is also offering a special supplement of NIS 600-1,200 for specialists, doctors in the periphery, and doctors in professions where there is a shortage. The Israel Medical Association is demanding a 50% increase in doctors’ hourly wage, plus changes in employment terms which will amount to an estimated additional 50% pay hike.”