The Israeli Medical Association has announced the beginning of a doctors’ strike on Tuesday. The strike, a warning measure, will last for two days, and will include the roughly 20,000 doctors working in the public system.
The IMA had attempted to negotiate with the Finance Ministry for better pay and conditions, but talks broke down over the weekend.
Most clinics belonging to the Leumit and Clalit health systems will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, select clinics will remain open in case of emergency. A list will be published later in the week.
Dr. Leonid Eidelman of the IMA explained that the strike would use a “Shabbos schedule,” with doctors providing care in urgent cases. “Whatever is not done on Shabbat, will not be done [during the strike],” he explained.
“Unfortunately, we have reached a situation that is not easy for the patients or the doctors,” he said. “But there is no choice – we must do this in order to make the Finance Ministry pull it together and come back to the negotiations table with practical suggestions.”
Doctors are requesting a 50% increase in the average wage for physicians, and an increase in hospital bed space – for the first time since 1976.
Finance Ministry officials gave a counteroffer of an 18% salary increase, spread out over the course of 8 years.
Read more: Arutz Shevah.