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Table 1 Summary of features of the main physician strikes in Israel from1976-2000

From: Recent physician strike in Israel: a health system under stress?

Strike Strike duration Actions taken Most important proximate cause of the strike The main outcomes
1976 58 days [7] • Closure of hospital outpatient clinics • On-call payments to physicians • 2.5% Salary increase
• Revision of salary supplements
• Only urgent surgical procedures • Time off after being on-duty • Revision of on-duty and on-call payments
• No patient discharges • Full implementation of the previous physician agreement • A change in the promotion system and shortening of the promotion period
• A study fund for physicians
• Opposition to moves to reduce physician numbers
1983 117 Days [7] • 90% of doctors on strike [8] • Additional physician posts • A payment mechanism for working overtime [7]
• Doubling of salaries
• Most hospitals operated on a “weekend basis” over a 4 month period [6] • Restriction both of working hours and consecutive hours worked [7] • Supplemental payment to doctors for hospital work [7]
• Supplemental payment to interns: 10% of a doctors salary [7]
• Ended with a hunger strike and mass hospital exodus [6] • ‘Many believe that the strike also damaged public trust in the physicians and their representatives’. ([6] p66)
1994 I day [7] • 24 hour ‘warming strike’ by 12,000 doctors including those from public sector hospitals, health centres and community health fund clinics [9] • Increased doctors salaries [7] • New promotion grades
• Increased salary supplements
• Determining a payment rate for on-calls
• Increased numbers of doctors making it difficult to find work [9] • Days off after on calls and study leave
• A new system for further medical studies
• Many elective operations and outpatient appointments were cancelled [9] • A professional advancement mechanism
• Recognition of the physician as a top specialist [7]
• Only emergency services were operating [9]
2000 217 days [7] • ‘General strikes, disruptions and various sanctions’. [7] • Salary improvement [6, 7] • A 13.2% salary increase for doctors [7]
• A remuneration mechanism for further study and absences [7] • Limitation on consecutive hours that interns and residents work
• Limits on consecutive hours worked [6] • Increase in the fixed salary portion of earnings from 35% to 50% [7]
• The right to private practice in public hospitals [6] • Extension of the physician pension coverage [7]
• Study leave entitlement [7]
• Recognition of out-of hours rotations and on-call duty as part of base pay calculations [6] • Establishment of a public commission to examine the public health system and physicians’ status [6, 7]
• Higher funding and strengthening of the public health system [6] • Agreement by the IMA not to strike for a decade [6]
     • Both sides agreed to arbitration for unresolved issues [6]
  1. Sources: Heath System Review, the IMA position papers, the Journal of Medical Ethics, the British Medical Journal [69].