Seven hospitals end strike after government agrees to increase funding

Deal will see major medical centers across country receive a total of NIS 960 million

Doctors and nurses strike outside a Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem, on August 25, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Doctors and nurses strike outside a Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem, on August 25, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The heads of seven Israeli hospitals announced Sunday that they will end their partial strike after nearly two weeks, having reached an agreement with the government that will see them receive cash infusion they say is sorely needed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The hospitals said that under the agreement, reached with the directors of the ministries of health  and finance, they will jointly receive a sum of NIS 960 million ($300 million) by year’s end.

In addition, they said that the agreement establishes an inter-ministerial committee that, along with hospital representatives, will determine budgetary allocations for 2022.

Since August 25, Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek hospital and both hospitals in the Hadassah system, Bnei Brak’s Mayanei Yeshua, Netanya’s Laniado, and Nazareth’s St. Vincent de Paul, Holy Family Hospital, and Nazareth Hospital had only been performing life-saving procedures and refused to admit new patients from the Magen David Adom emergency service.

These seven so-called “public” hospitals are open to all patients and rely mostly on state funds, though they are privately owned.

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said Sunday that he was “glad” the strike had ended and hailed the development as a personal achievement.

“I know and appreciate the needs” of the hospitals, he wrote in a tweet. “For the first time since the establishment of the state, I was able to include in the state budget [which passed its first reading last week] direct funding for these hospitals.”

In June, the same hospitals boycotted a government event honoring the health system for COVID-fighting efforts, accusing the state of financially abandoning them.

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