Doctors’ Strike in Israel Settled After More Health Funds Promised

Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool)
Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool)

The strike of doctors at Israel’s public state-funded hospitals ended on Friday after a day-long walkout as the Finance Ministry agreed to expand the healthcare budget to meet vital needs, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Health Minister UTJ MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman reportedly broke the negotiations impasse when he threatened to withold his vote for the state budget unless more funds were allocated for the healthcare system.

The 500-million shekel increase for the hospitals budget will help to finance a five-year program for 1,200 new beds, 750 beds to geriatric institutions and 150 additional beds for psychiatric hospitals. Over 150 more positions for medical residents will be added to lighten the current workload of residents.

Details on issues affecting doctors’ salaries and working conditions were not immediately available.

The increases are to be effected without taxing supplementary public and commercial health insurance policies, as had previously been proposed.

Rabbi Litzman said that after long negotiations, “we reached an agreement that provides significant additional resources in the coming years.. We will continue to work to strengthen the public health system and to promote better care in the periphery. In addition, we will continue to act in any way to promote reform in nursing.”

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