Israeli medical staff strike by complaining of "fatigue"

Israeli medical staff strike by complaining of "fatigue"

Dozens of doctors and medical staff in Israel found a novel way Thursday around a labour court injunction banning them going on strike - by turning up at emergency rooms complaining of fatigue, DPA reported.

Israeli doctors have been protesting for months against their working conditions and relatively low pay, and have staged limited strikes. Although the protests have been spearheaded by the trainee doctors, most senior physicians and specialists support the struggle.

The resident doctors and junior doctors left their stations at hospitals near Tel Aviv, in protest against an emerging agreement between the Israel Medical Association and the Finance Ministry. They say the agreement does not go far enough to satisfy their demands.

On Wednesday hospital doctors and residents staged a walk out to protest the agreement, but later a Labour Court issued an injunction against further strikes.

A spokesman for the Residents Association called Thursday for the adoption of a recovery plan for the public health system in Israel.

"One thousand new jobs should be created, so we can properly treat patients," Yona Weissbuch said.

A doctor training to be a specialist earned the equivalent of 1,400 dollars per month before tax. With overtime, the salary could rise to 3,600 dollars, he told the German Press Agency dpa.

Weissbuch said interns worked on average eight extra 26 hour shifts per month, sometimes working 300 hours by the month's end.

They also want the number of extra shifts they had to work to be lowered to not more than six.

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