Doctors threaten to resign over PA inaction

Maan News Agency | June 3, 2011

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The doctors’ union has threatened to submit mass resignations in response to a decision by the Palestinian government in Ramallah to refer an ongoing strike in the medical sector to court.

Jawad Awad, head of the union, said “the decision taken by the government to go to court … is a stab in the heart of democracy and citizens’ rights, which grant all workers a right to strike.”

Awad called on President Mahmoud Abbas to intervene in order to end the crisis.

The union is asking that doctors be paid based on experience and specialization as well as a 20-percent bonus for insurance and overtime. They also want the health ministry to fill gaps in supplies and medical equipment.

The Palestinian Authority decided Wednesday to refer the case to the judicial system in order to stop the strike. They said the decision is in the interest of Palestinian patients whose health is threatened.

In one case, two Palestinian boys went untreated for hours after they were injured by an Israeli explosive in Hebron, according to a report in the Israeli daily Haaretz on Friday.

After picking up a device that caused burns to the two brothers, medics in Hebron sent their father to a pharmacy to buy bandages and ointment because there was no medical equipment in the hospital.

Doctors at Al-Ahli Hospital initially refused to treat the children because of the strike, Haaretz reported. They only agreed after learning the boys were brought in coordination with the Israeli army.

“My grandchildren fell between the cracks, between the prohibition against transferring them to Israel and the strike in the Hebron hospital,” their grandfather explained.


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