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Israeli healthcare system to strike on Monday to protest violence against staff

Hadassah Mount Scopus medical workers protest at the hospital following recent violence attacks on the hospital medical staff, May 19, 2022. (Photo: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Following several attacks on healthcare workers over the last few days, the Israel Medical Association announced that the country’s entire healthcare system will go on strike starting Monday. 

“Striking is never our default, but violence in the health system has long become an epidemic and red lines are being crossed almost every day. On Monday, doctors say no to violence, no to lawlessness,” said Israel Medical Association chairman Prof. Zion Hagay. 

During the strike, hospitals and clinics throughout Israel will operate on a limited basis, similar to their functioning on Shabbat, with an exceptions committee deciding special cases.

“We will, in no way, agree to a reality in which the doctors will be abandoned precisely in the place where they are engaged day and night in saving lives,” Hagay said. 

Last Monday, a doctor at Soroka Medical Center was attacked and injured by parents of a child over a delay in treating their young son. The medical center held a three-hour strike in protest the following day. 

On Thursday, a 17-year-old young woman attacked a doctor in Ramla at a women’s health center after an argument and was arrested by police.

There were several incidents of violence against medical professionals in 2022 as well, leading to strikes and calls for government action.

Healthcare workers state that hospital guards are ill-equipped to deal with violence. 

While the Israel Police promised last year to station units at all hospitals across the country, the plan will only be implemented by the end of the first quarter of 2023. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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