Israel’s striking nurses’ union, which launched a strike on Tuesday, shifting to a Shabbos schedule, later in the day announced an agreement was reached to end the strike. Both the Health Ministry and Finance Ministry were involved in talks, and it was decided to significantly increase security for medical personnel in hospitals and clinics and to add additional positions in the nation’s crumbling medical system, with hospitals functioning under constant patient overcrowding.
Among other things, a total of one hundred positions will be added to the Hemato-Oncology, Psychiatry and Well Baby (Tipat Chalav) departments, as well as implementation of the recommendations from the Committee for the Elimination of Violence in the Health System, headed by Professor Mor-Yosef. It was further determined that an examination would be conducted regarding the number of nurses in emergency rooms around the country.
In accordance with the agreement, next week, a meeting will be held with Deputy Attorney General Ran Nizri regarding implementation of legislation and tougher punishment for attackers targeting medical and healthcare professionals.
Deputy Minister of Health MK Yaakov Litzman welcomed the agreement. “We succeeded in bringing about a significant increase in the health system while strengthening the personal safety of medical teams.”
Deputy Minister Litzman and Director-General Moshe Bar-Siman Tov thanked all those involved in the negotiations, including Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who they say according to them displays a deep commitment to the healthcare system during his term.
Ilana Cohen, who heads the nation’s nurses’ union, added, “the struggle launched would lead to achieving the goals. In addition, emergency room positions were added, about 100 additional positions were added to hemato-oncology and Tipat Chalav units along with another 50 positions to psychiatric units. There is no doubt that this is an achievement.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)