After a 158-day struggle and 46 hours of talks, the Israel Medical Association and the Ministry of Finance this morning reached an agreement in principle. The Medical Association secretariat subsequently approved the deal. Medical Association chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman was under intense pressure from doctors who opposed the deal but the Medical Association secretariat accepted the settlement.
Sources inform ''Globes'' that the Ministry of Finance agreed to greatly improve the cost of the agreement to 46-49% over ten years from 39-43% over nine years, which the doctors previously rejected.
The increase is not in the form of a direct pay hike, but the general cost pay hikes and incentives on top of the doctors' current salary. Most of the addition will be awarded to doctors in the periphery, specialists in fields with shortages, and doctors who work extra duty shifts. These measures are expected to strengthen government hospitals.
The parties agreed that doctors with up to five years seniority as specialists will, for the first time, be required to carry out two duty shifts per month. Currently, only specialists in emergency rooms and gynecology are required to do this. However, in contrast to previous agreements, the specialists' duty shifts will end at 11 pm, rather than continue throughout the night. The doctors strongly pushed for this change.
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