Striking Hospitals Turn Down Interim Cash From Finance Ministry

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israel’s public hospital directors rejected on Thursday the Finance Ministry’s response to their demand for financial support and said they will continue with a partial strike.

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman said he ordered the transfer of 100 million shekels ($31 million) to the seven striking hospitals, who have been working on Shabbos mode since Wednesday, performing life-saving procedures but refusing to admit new coronavirus patients.

Acknowledging that this cash infusion will not resolve the problem, Liberman said the hospitals will receive additional funds when they meet certain criteria set forth by the ministry.

“We will continue to support the healthcare system and enable life alongside the coronavirus,” tweeted Liberman.

The hospital officials were not placated. “This deal is intended to prevent us from planning the year ahead. Without a fixed and reliable budget, one cannot run a hospital. Our strike will continue until the Ministry’s original commitment is honored.”

The hospitals claim that the government has failed to fulfill promises to provide adequate funding for their full operation.

The affected hospitals include Yerushalayim’s Shaare Tzedek, both hospitals in the Hadassah system, Bnei Brak’s Mayanei Yeshua, Netanya’s Laniado, Nazareth’s St. Vincent de Paul, and Nazareth Hospital,