Negotiations between striking nurses, the Finance Ministry and labor union officials concluded on Tuesday with no result, as the open-ended strike declared by nurses employed by Clalit Health Services concluded its second day. The two sides are expected to continue talks on Wednesday.
Clalit runs a network of 14 hospitals and some 1,300 primary care clinics throughout Israel, as well as a network of dental clinics and pharmacies. Joining the Clalit strikers are nurses employed by Tipat Halav, which provides maternal and child health services in state-sponsored clinics throughout the country.
New wage agreements and help with the severe manpower deficit experienced by the nursing trade in Israel were at the core of Clalit Health Services workers’ demands, according to the ministry.
As a result, non-crucial services will be limited in all Clalit hospitals, which will be operating with a Shabbat skeleton crew. Clinics will continue to provide oncology treatment, dialysis and home care services; however, patients are advised to call ahead and verify the status of existing surgeries and appointments.
The nurses are demanding that their salaries be severed from existing public sector wage agreements and that nursing be categorized as a national priority profession.
The Finance Ministry claims salary hikes would not solve the manpower crisis, citing that 116 nursing positions, created in a March agreement, were still not filled.
Philip Podolsky contributed to this report.