The Shmooze

Israel Medical Association Chairman Leads Hunger Strike

By Renee Ghert-Zand

  • Print
  • Share Share
Wikimedia Commons

Dr. Leonid Eidelman, the chairman of the Israel Medical Association, is doing something he would probably never allow any of his patients to do: He is going on a hunger strike to try to force Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene in a four-month-old doctors’ strike.

With efforts to negotiate a settlement with the Finance Ministry exhausted in the wake of strikes that have taken place at various hospitals around the country, Eidelman and the IMA are ready to take more drastic measures to have the doctors’ demands met.

On Monday, Eidelman began his hunger strike and called on doctors to follow suit and join him in a protest march from the IMA offices in Ramat Gan (near Tel Aviv) to Jerusalem. There, they delivered a petition signed by tens of thousands of Israeli doctors and citizens. Hundreds of doctors joined Eidelman Wednesday, and others staged demonstrations locally in various locations around the country. Others will join him as he conducts a sit-down strike opposite the Prime Minister’s Office on Thursday.

At a press conference prior to the start of his hunger strike, Eidelman said, “Unfortunately, the state forsakes medicine, doctors and patients” — even, he added, after “128 days of striking.”

Eidelman continued, “Yes, the deterioration in the health care system has been going on for years, but the shortage and the distress [of doctors] have only grown worse from year to year.” He implored the Prime Minister to “please give us the tools to help patients.”

Among the IMA’s demands are the creation of an additional 1,000 jobs for doctors; the limitation of extended (36-hour) shifts to six per month for residents; the transfer of doctors to underserved peripheral areas of the country; an increase of doctors’ base hourly salary by 50%, and incentives for young people to enter the medical profession.

So far, the Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister have refused to follow doctors’ orders. Whether Israel’s medical system can be cured remains to be seen.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Strikes, Protest, Leonid Eidelman, Medicine, Israel Medical Association, Doctors

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.