Medical residents leader claims victory: ‘We’ve put an end to 26-hour shifts’

As medical residents and interns end their protest and return to work, they are claiming victory following talks with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz.

“Our justified fight has succeeded. We can say with certainty that we’ve put an end to 26-hour shifts,” says Dr. Ray Bitton, head of residents organization Mirsham.

“The residents won and the public won, because it will not be treated by tired doctors on the 25th hour of their shift. We will all get better medical treatment. This is a historic change that will affect thousands of interns and hundreds of thousands of patients.”

File: Medical interns demonstrate for better work conditions in Tel Aviv on October 9, 2021. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Under the new proposal announced by Horowitz, shifts will be shortened in March from 26 to 18 hours at 10 hospitals in outlying areas. Shifts will then be cut at numerous departments at two yet-to-be-determined hospitals in the center of the country in November 2022. Shifts will then be gradually cut at other departments and hospitals, with the aim of having all medical interns work 18-hour shifts by the end of 2025.

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