Discussions were held Saturday night in an effort to squash the threat of hundreds of medical interns and residents resigning Sunday morning, Ynet reported.
As the residents, most of whom are affiliated with the Mirsham union for medical residents, handed in their resignation letters last week, the Israeli Medical Association also attempted to prevent the drastic measure in talks with Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, reported Ynet. Mirsham disbanded from the Association, which represents doctors in Israel since 1912, in order to become a voice for the young medical residents who often get overlooked in agreements between the Health and Finance ministries.
The residents have been demonstrating the fact that they work 26-hour shifts, often without any break to rest or even eat or go to the bathroom for several hours, due to the immense overload in hospitals.
Many medical students from Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Ariel University and the Hebrew University of the Negev also signed the petition siding with the battle, and students from said faculties are planning to strike on Sunday in support.
“We are striking to identify with the just and right battle of the residents,” said Maayan Yedvab, a fifth-year medical student from the Hebrew University. “I and others like me believe this has to do with our studies just as much as tests or assignments. This is our future. Every citizen should care about this.”
MIRSHAM demonstration against 26 hour resident doctor shifts (credit: MIRSHAM)
Several directions are currently being investigated to reach an agreement with the medical community, Ynet reported, including a possibility of shortening the timeframe of the outline, which currently spans four years, or adding more hospitals to the first phase that is set to begin in April of 2022, instead of the only 10 hospitals currently included as a trial run.
On Sunday, the medical students plan to demonstrate in Tel Aviv while the hospitals are expected to face a morning with several fewer staff members as the resignations come into effect, barring changes throughout the night.