As strike wears on, top doc says he’ll go hungry

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The head of the Israel Medical Association went on a hunger strike to ramp up doctors’ demands for better wages.

Dr. Leonid Eidelman announced Monday that he would fast until the long-deadlocked negotiations between the medical association and the Treasury were resolved.

Now in its fifth month, the Israeli doctors’ strike has seen hospitals reduced to skeleton staff and lengthening patient waiting lists.

Israel’s state-funded health system guarantees universal care but has led many doctors, especially overworked residents, to complain of long hours, crowded facilities and low pay.

Last week the association rejected a Finance Ministry proposal to increase wages by up to 40 percent, saying the government also must address demands for more hospital staff.

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