Clinics and Hospitals to Go on Strike for Two Days
On Tuesday, an announcement from the doctor’s union dictated that the staff at clinics and public hospitals would go on a strike for two days. This is in protest against the violence towards medical personnel. The announcement came a day after a patient attacked a doctor with a crowbar in central Israel.
Doctor Attacked and Wounded
A doctor had been attacked and wounded at a community clinic in Be’e Yaakov and police had arrested the man responsible for it. However, this incident is just the latest in a series of similar acts of violence against medics in recent months in hospitals and clinics all over Israel.
Therefore, the union has decided to go on a strike and it said that a weekend schedule would be followed in clinics and hospitals on Thursday and Friday. This means that reduced services will be available. No announcement has come from the nurses’ union about their stance on the strike.
Prof. Zion Hagay, the Israel Medical Association’s chairman, said that they had made it clear previously that they will not tolerate any incidence of violence. He stated that the last strike they had done had seen the government put a police officer in emergency rooms and provide the manpower necessary, but he said that it was not enough. He said that they wanted to see real actions be taken immediately.
Increasing Attacks Against Medical Personnel
Medical facilities and teams across Israel have seen an increased number of attacks in recent months. In the past month, the union had gone on strike once before and is now going on strike for the second time. The labor action in May occurred after a patient had died at a hospital in Jerusalem and family members had attacked the staff. They had also caused a great deal of damage to the facilities after they were informed of the patient’s death.
The police reported that the suspect arrested in Tuesday’s incident had gone to the clinic to get medical treatment earlier. He is in his 30s and a resident of the town and had begun to behave wildly. When the doctor asked him to leave, he refused and instead hit her with a crowbar. The doctor was wounded and had to be taken to a hospital nearby for treatment.
The police soon apprehended the man for questioning and his custody will be extended in court on Wednesday. The Health Ministry tweeted a picture of the wounded doctor after the incident and vowed to put an end to this violence.
Prof. Nachman Ash, the director-general of the Health Ministry, said that the justice system of the country needs to intervene in this situation. He said that this could continue, as violence against medical personnel is rising and the state needs to take action against it. He stated that they could not allow the medical staff to get physically assaulted and humiliated. He called on the judiciary and the State Attorney’s Office to use the law to assist in this regard.