TEL AVIV (Jul. 5)
The doctors’ strike ended this morning, 29 days after it began, when the National Physicians Council voted 54-1 to accept the terms of an agreement hammered out in two days of marathon negotiations that ended yesterday. Both sides claimed a victory. The 6000 salaried physicians, employed by government and sick fund hospitals and clinics, won their claims for extra pay for Saturday and night duty and a revision of the wage grading system. But their pay hikes do not exceed the 456 percent ceiling set by the government.
Health Minister Victor Shemtov welcomed the return to work and expressed thanks to the doctors who treated patients in need of medical attention even while they were striking.
The end of the strike brought no rush to hospitals and clinics today. Hasharon Hospital in Petach Tikva had only half of its 400 beds occupied and a similar situation was reported by other hospitals.