TEL AVIV (Jun. 7)
Israeli doctors, now in the fourth month of their strike for higher wages, say they are planning a new tactic to force the government to accept their demands for nearly double income by making it more expensive not to.
The tactic will result in better service to patients but at a heavy cost to the government hospitals at which most of the doctors are employed, the strikers say. The doctors presently treat patients at alternative clinics for a fee of 900 Shekels per visit. They now intend to send most or all of their patients to government hospitals for a battery of tests paid for by the State.
A spokesman for the Medical Association said the plan would be implemented in a few days if negotiations with government representatives remain at an impasse. He said one of the results would be serious overcrowding of the hospitals where the wards are filled to capacity and many patients occupy beds in the corridors. The patients will be receiving more medical attention than they ever had, the doctors contended. The government hospitals are presently manned by about 10 percent of their normal medical staffs.