Hundreds of resident physicians, interns and students of medicine demonstrated last Saturday night, September 25, in north Tel Aviv outside the home of Economy Minister Orna Barbivai to protest her intention not to adopt the outline of shortening of shifts that the young doctors and students have been demanding: reducing hospital shifts for these personnel from 26 to 16 hours along with two hours of overlap with the incoming shift. Barbivai instead plans to offer them an outline in which shifts will only be shortened to 22 hours with a single hour an overlap. The protestors blocked a main road, Derech Namir, and several were detained by police.
Barbivai responded to the criticism of her counterproposal: “The interns are right, there is no argument. But the proposal of some of them talks about shortening the shifts in 10 hospitals first, leaving 75% of the hospitals with 26-hour shifts. I propose to set a realistic goal and descend gradually.”
However, Dr. Rey Biton, chair of the Residents Organization “Mirsham” refused the proposal and called for another demonstration, tomorrow morning (Sunday, October 3) outside the Knesset in Jerusalem.
In addition, over 1,900 residents, interns and students have signed an online petition stating that if the 16 + 2 outline they are demanding is not adopted, the residents intend to resign, the interns will refuse to start a residency and the medical students will not begin their internships.