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Israeli Doctors Stage 24-hour Warning Strike

July 29, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A 24-hour “warning” strike by 10,000 doctors all but shut down most of Israel’s hospitals Thursday.

The Israel Medical Association called the walkout to protest low salaries at government and Histadrut hospitals. It accused management of failing to complete wage negotiations for 1987.

But Treasury officials refused to attend scheduled talks with medical association representatives Thursday on grounds that the government does not negotiate with strikers.

Most Israelis depend on the state-run hospitals or those affiliated with Histadrut’s health care agency, Kupat Holim. Service at those hospitals was reduced to a bare minimum Thursday.

Outpatient clinics and treatment centers were closed, wards were manned by skeleton staffs and surgery was performed only in life-or-death situations.

Jerusalem was the least affected center in Israel because most of the country’s few private hospitals are located there.

The majority of physicians in those hospitals are observant Jews who consider caring for the sick a religious duty, but even the Orthodox members of the medical association kept outpatient work and surgery to a minimum.

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