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Doctors Agree to Return to Jobs, but Strike by Nurses Continues

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The doctors strikes and work sanctions that have crippled Israel’s public health care system for months ended Sunday. But the nurses union remained locked in battle with the government.

Doctors at government hospitals announced they would resume their full schedule of duties, reopen outpatient clinics and perform elective surgery.

They have accepted in principle proposals by Premier Yitzhak Shamir and Health Minister Shoshana Arbeli-Almoslino to end their dispute over compensation for an extra shift in operating rooms.

Details of the proposals were to be discussed between the doctors’ representatives and the Cabinet ministers, beginning Sunday night.

But nurses, now in the 11th day of a hunger strike outside the Prime Minister’s Office, angrily rejected the health minister’s appeal to them to return to normal duty at their hospitals.

The nurses, who say they are understaffed and underpaid, have demanded a 28 percent increase in the nursing staffs at state hospitals. The Health Ministry offered to hire 24 percent.

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