Israeli Doctors, Engineers Tie Up Public Medical Facilities with Strike

Nine thousand salaried doctors and engineers began a one-day strike this morning, with threats to prolong the walkout unless their demands for higher wages and better working conditions were met;

Skeleton services were maintained throughout the day in government hospitals, Hadas-sah institutions, Malben, the Kupat Holim and municipal medical institutions. Limited service also was maintained in all technical services except the defense establishments, which were not struck.

Last-minute efforts to avert the strike last night collapsed, after the Israel Medical Association rejected a proposal to refer the demands to an arbitration committee to be selected by both sides. The physicians also rejected a suggestion from Aharon Becker, secretary general of the Histadrut, Israel’s Labor Federation. He had proposed that doctors get a monthly advance on their salaries until new payments were fixed.

The striking doctors held rallies today in Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv, where special action committees were set up. An emergency list of doctors was established to stand by for critical situations. Otherwise, only a Saturday-like skeleton service was effective in all institutions. In Jerusalem, the Legal Services Organization expressed sympathy with its academic colleagues.

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