Menu JTA Search

Hospital Workers Cut Services to Protest Cabinet Inaction

Medical and non-medical services were curtailed again Monday at government and Kupat Holim hospitals, where employees protested the Cabinet’s continued procrastination in dealing with the country’s health care crisis.

The ministers met at their weekly session Sunday, prepared to discuss recommendations on the health care system proposed by a professional committee appointed by Health Minister Shoshana Arbeli-Almoslino.

The panel, headed by Professor Natan Trainin of the Weizmann Institute of Science, proposed a series of reforms, some of which the health minister disagreed with. She circulated the report, nevertheless, as a basis for discussion.

Fifteen ministers were scheduled to speak, but Premier Yitzhak Shamir called instead for a vote on setting up a state commission of inquiry.

Ministers who had studied the Training report thought it contained sufficient data to get started on improving health services. They objected to a vote now on a new commission, and when Foreign Minister Shimon Peres joined them, Shamir postponed further discussion of the matter until next Sunday’s Cabinet session.

Angry doctors announced Sunday that the government hospitals would be put on restricted schedules Monday and Tuesday. Doctors employed by Kupat Holim announced restricted Sabbath schedules for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Clerical and maintenance employees are also applying slowdowns and stoppages to protest the Finance Ministry’s refusal to grant them overtime pay for clearing the backlog of work that piled up during their most recent strike.

NEXT STORY