A file photo of Israeli medical personnel
Israeli doctors have decided to go ahead with a scheduled 24-hour-long strike at public hospitals in protest at a bill proposing restrictions on physicians.
The doctors will be launching the protest action on Thursday unless the regime jettisons the so-called Arrangements Bill.
In its original form, the proposed bill, inter alia, banned senior doctors who act as department managers from performing medical operations at private hospitals and limited the tenures of hospital administrators.
Under intense objection from the doctors, however, the bill has been modified to exclude the ban on private work. It continues to introduce other restrictions such as “significant punishments” for hospital directors who fail to meet budgetary targets.
Speaking on Wednesday, the Israel Medical Association (IMA)’s chairman, Dr. Leonid Eidelman, said the bill “tightens the noose around our neck.”
The IMA said in a statement, “We are talking about offensive behavior that is unilateral and lacking good faith on the part of the government. The goal of the strike is to create dramatic changes in the working conditions, salaries, and statuses of doctors.”
Back in 2011, Israeli physicians staged a lengthy strike protesting working conditions, which forced the regime’s finance ministry to sign an agreement with the Doctors’ Labor Federation envisaging a 49-percent average pay increase for them and the assignment of 1,000 more doctors to public hospitals.