Health Ministry Director General Professor Ronni Gamzu
Photo: Ofer Amram
Residents preparing to resign
Photo: Eli Algart

Health crisis: Hundreds of residents to resign

Health Ministry, hospitals prepare for worst as hundreds of residents resign this week. 'I'm finishing my last shift and I'll leave the profession I love,' says one resident

This week is set to be one of the most complicated Israeli hospitals have known. Over a month has passed since an agreement was signed between the Medical Association and the Finance Ministry – an agreement rejected by hospital residents.


Consequently, from Tuesday and through to Saturday 702 residents and 32 specialists are set to once again execute their resignations and leave their positions. Around 100 residents are set to resign from each hospital.


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Health Ministry Director General Professor Ronni Gamzu held a press conference on Sunday to outline the ministry's preparations for the crisis.


The departments that will be hit the most are orthopedics, children, surgery and gynecology, Gamzu noted. "In the State hospitals, 300 out of the estimated 440 resignations are a group resignation, nearly all from the same department – almost 50%. That is a situation which will cause major damages to the functioning of those departments."


As part of the Health Ministry's preparations for the mass-resignations, a file has been opened for each hospital which includes the numbers of doctors staying in each ward after the resignations.


These files will serve the special situation room set up for this week's events. With the files' help the situation room will be able to observe the workload in each hospital department in real time. Directives will then be distributed to Magen David Adom and HMOs.


מחזיר את המפתחות. ד"ר יאיר לנדאו (צילום: אלי אלגרט)

Dr. Yair Landau ready to resign (Photo: Eli Algart)


In line with the Health Ministry's directions, hospital departments will be united for morning and night shifts; only urgent operations will be performed; senior doctors will be on call in order to carry out the hospital's most urgent tasks, and all leaves for department chiefs and senior doctors will be cancelled.


Head of the Health Ministry's medical administration Dr. Hezi Levi instructed hospitals to avoid closing departments as much as possible. If there is no other choice – departments will be closed only with the medical administration's approval.


Dr. Levi also instructed hospital administrations that operations in emergency rooms, delivery rooms and intensive care units must continue.


The Health Ministry has made it clear that essential medical care services like surgeries for cancer patients, in vitro fertilization treatments, chemotherapy, dialysis, children's surgeries or surgeries with a waiting period of over three months will not be cancelled.


"I can't wait for this shift to end," said Dr. Yair Landau, a resident in the Sheba Medical Center's orthopedic department, who was still working on Saturday night.


"It's hard to miss work when you're stuck in the middle of it. Plus, I've already experienced the feeling the last time I quit and was forced to come back to work against my will. I'm finishing my last shift and on Tuesday I'll leave the profession I love."


"The long shifts and hard work take their toll. Last week I fell asleep at the wheel. These situations happen all the time and luckily I haven't had any major accidents yet. I also lost 10 kilograms since I started working, so the first thing I'm going to do when I'm done working is sleep and eat."




פרסום ראשון: 10.02.11, 09:34
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