Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz
Photo: Omer Maron

Steinitz: Time to end residents' anarchy

PM Netanyahu summons finance minister, deputy health minister for urgent meeting following residents' resignation as State awaits Labor Court's ruling on motion for emergency injunction

Hospitals across Israel scrambled to make up for the loss of hundreds of medical residents Monday, after they decided to follow through on their threat of resignation vis-à-vis the continued failed negotiations with the Treasury.


The State has appealed the Labor Court for an emergency injunction, which will compel the residents to return to work. A court hearing on the matter has been set for Monday evening.


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Monday afternoon saw Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summon Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman for an urgent meeting on the matter, pending the court's decision.


In a press conference held in Jerusalem, in which the Treasury presented wage figures for the public sector, Minister Steinitz deemed the residents' move illegal and urged them to resume negotiations; but said that the agreement signed between his office and the Israel Medical Association would not be opened for review.


Last Labor Court hearing on residents' case (Photo: Yaron Brener)


Although technically the residents' move is not illegal, the finance minister stressed that "we are all bound by the law and by court orders." He further urged the residents to "end this anarchy" and adhere to "legal, acceptable protest norms. You must return to the negotiating table," he said.


"I've instructed the ministry's officials to negotiate a solution in good faith and to try and find a solution to this crisis."


Director of Wages for the Treasury Ilan Levin told reporters that while the doctors "more than deserve proper wages," it was "inconceivable that right after a wage agreement was signed a pressure group will try to bring the ministry to its knees."


Faced with turmoil in the health system, Health Ministry Director-General Dr. Ronny Gamzo toured several major hospitals Monday, ahead of a situation assessment planned by the ministry for Monday evening


The Health Ministry has set up a situation room meant to assist both the hospitals and the public. The situation room will redeploy physicians and refer patients according to geographical proximity and need for care, in order to try and prevent any particular hospital from reaching critical mass.


Nevertheless, several hospitals have already announced that they were suspending all elective treatments and procedures and will accept emergency admissions only.


The Health Ministry's situation room will also liaise with Magen David Adom emergency services and will redirect any medical evacuations according to need.


Neri Brenner contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 10.10.11, 14:26
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