On Thursday, the doctor’s union announced that staff at public clinics and hospitals would be going on strike next Monday.
The strike is in response to a series of violent incidents that have occurred against medical workers recently.
The announcement from the doctor’s union came after a 17-year old patient was arrested by the police in Ramle at a women’s health center.
The patient was suspected of using brass knuckles for attacking a doctor and then kicking him in the head. The doctor had to be taken to a nearby hospital for medical treatment after the incident.
According to the Israel Medical Association, clinics and hospitals on Monday would follow a weekend schedule, which means they will offer reduced services.
A committee will also be operated by the association to make decisions about special individual cases. The chairman of the association, Prof. Zion Hagay, said that they do not consider a strike to be their default choice.
However, the chair said that violence against medical staff has now become an epidemic because it has been happening for a while.
The association’s chairman said that red lines were crossed almost on a daily basis, so doctors would say no to lawlessness and violence on Monday.
The Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba had called for a stoppage of two hours on Wednesday after parents of a 15-month old baby boy had assaulted a pediatrician physically.
The child had been brought in for treatment at the hospital. On Thursday, charges were filed against the parents by prosecutors, who hail from the southern town of Yeruham.
They have been charged with attacking a civil worker. Before the meeting of the Israel Medical Association on Thursday to make a decision about next week’s strike, Hagay had talked about the incident.
He said that when they had conducted a strike at Soroka, it had been a kind of warning strike and they had made this fact quite clear.
He said that now they were not left with any other alternative and had to consider the option of the entire health system going on a strike because they wanted someone in the government to wake up.
He said that they want this lawlessness to be stopped. Cases of violence against medical staff are no longer uncommon in Israel.
There had been a two-day strike announced by the doctor’s union last June in protest of violence against healthcare workers and the alleged failure of the government for implementing a plan to deal with such incidents.
However, it does not appear to have helped much because the number of violent incidents involving medical staff have continued to tick up.
In other news, police also arrested three residents of Modiin on Thursday over suspicion of assaulting protestors outside of the home of Justice Minister Yariv Levin in the city.
According to the police, the man and his two sons live near the Justice Minister and were taken for questioning for physically assaulting those protesting against the judicial overhaul reforms.