Hundreds of Israeli resident doctors on Wednesday evening ended their weeks-long strike after reaching a deal with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, that will effectively reduce their long working hours.
More than 2,500 medical residents submitted their resignation to the Health Ministry last week, in protest of the 26-hour shifts they were forced to work because of a shortage of trained physicians and hospital requirements.
The new agreement will see the shifts of resident doctors cut to 18 hours. By March 2022, the new outline is set to take effect in ten hospitals located far from the center of the country, and by November 2022, two additional as-of-yet undecided hospitals in the center of Israel, will be added to that list.
According to Horowitz's outline, by end of 2025, all hospitals will operate with residents working no more than 18-hour shifts.
Residents have demanded since the start of their dispute with the government that an agreed timeframe for the implementation of the improved working conditions be put in place, after previous negotiations over the years have left all promises to reduce working hours unfulfilled.
Dr. Rey Biton, the head of Mirsham, the group representing the residents, said: "We won. The residents won and the public won, because they will not be treated by doctors who are too tired to provide the proper care.”
“I would like to thank Minister Horowitz for his unparalleled and courageous decision to finally bring this injustice to an end and Minister Orna Barbivai - who did what no other minister had done before her,” Biton added.
First published: 21:30, 10.20.21