Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Reuters
Residents' reps at court
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Residents refuse to resume talks with Treasury

Prime minister advocates paying young residents who restrict their work to public health system thousands of shekels more per month

Representatives of the resigning medical residents refused National Labor Court President Judge Nili Arad's request to resume talks with the Treasury, ending a hearing late Monday on the growing crisis in the health system without results.


The judge is expected to rule on whether to issue injunctions against the residents on Tuesday.


More than 700 residents quit in protest of a disputed agreement with the Finance Ministry and 387 did not show up for work Monday.


More on health crisis:


According to assessments made by those present at the hearing, Judge Arad will most likely rule that the resignation of 300 residents, whose roles are defined as vital, would be gradual while she won't issue injunctions against the other residents who quit.


Labor Court mulls injunction (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Labor Court mulls injunction (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

Arad urged medical residents not to leave their hospital wards. "The court feels there is willingness on the part of the State to reach an agreement," she said.


Arad added: "We turn and ask of you not to abandon your posts. Act with the responsibility that is expected of you. Negotiations are long and complicated and we are willing to help. We don't want to issue a ruling, and we are convinced that the parties must talk."


Earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for an increase in the salaries of young doctors who confine their work to the public health system.


Netanyahu's bureau said that after a series of meetings with Treasury officials and Health Ministry and Medical Association representatives, the prime minister has ordered negotiators to grant an increase of thousands of shekels for the monthly salary of young doctors. "There won't be a more generous offer," Netanyahu stressed.


The statement said: "The aim of the proposal is to improve doctors' financial conditions and upgrade the public health system for the benefit of Israeli citizens. The increase will be given to doctors who favor public medicine over private medicine."


The Prime Minister's Office said that Rambam Medical Center Director Prof. Raffi Bayer welcomed Netanyahu's proposal.


During the hearing at the Labor Court, Prof. Bayer said that the hospital cannot go on with the current situation for more than two days, noting that severe damage has already been caused.


Health Ministry official Dr. Hezi Levy said that thus far 387, out of the 700 who announced their resignation, have failed to show up for work. He noted that most of the doctors resigned after their letter went into effect. According to Levy, many non-urgent surgeries were canceled and nearly all hospitals suspended the activity of their outpatient clinics. Six women who required caesarean sections in Rambam were referred to other hospitals.


In Tel Aviv's Sourasky Medical Center a total of 50 surgeries on cancer patients were postponed due to the residents' resignation. "Desperate people with tumors and huge problems were sent home without an alternative time for surgery anxious and desperate," the hospital's chief of surgery Prof. Joseph Klausner said.


He warned that on Tuesday matters will be even worse. The professor himself was called into emergency room duty Monday due to the staff shortage.


Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report 




פרסום ראשון: 10.10.11, 18:40
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