Health Official Appeals to Union to Cancel Hospital Strike

Director General of the Ministry of Health Moshe Bar Siman Tov. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

By Hamodia Staff

YERUSHALAYIM — Health Ministry Director General Moshe Bar Siman-Tov sought to head off a strike of medical staff at Israeli hospitals set for Monday, citing concern for the welfare of patients.

In a letter to the Israel Medical Association chairman Zion Hagay, Bar Siman-Tov acknowledged “the need for an expression of protest” over recent violence directed at medical staff but warned that “the planned steps will hurt patients and their daily routine.”

“Like yourself, Health Ministry officials and I are following recent events with great concern and view with great severity any report of violence in the health system. This phenomenon gravely hurts the system and its employees and should be approached with a zero-tolerance policy,” read the letter, which was published by Channel 12.

Bar Siman-Tov said “it’s clear that there is still much to be done,” and that he is “determined” to do everything possible to guarantee a safe health system for patients and staff alike, and will soon circulate a letter to ministry employees outlining measures to be taken to improve the situation.

He invited Hagay to join him Tuesday on a tour of Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva where an attack against a doctor occurred last week.

In the event that the strike does proceed, hospital across the country will be on a restricted schedule, similar to Shabbos, where life-saving treatments are carried out but elective surgery is not done.

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