The Doctors’ Strike: There is a Better Way

The Jerusalem Post
August 7, 2011

Public service doctors in Israel are uncomfortable about the current situation they find themselves in as they continue to strike for increased wages while depriving the general public of sorely needed medical assistance. However, low wages and long hours of physicians and nurses means that patients are adversely affected. In light of this ethical dilemma, the government could intervene to prevent the periodic disruption of public services.

In Norway for example, the government announced that it would pass compulsory arbitration legislation to help resolve an irreconcilable dispute that would have threatened national health. The present situation merits such government intervention: “It is perfectly feasible to establish a system that will ensure that, by mediation and arbitration, collective wage agreements can be settled in a manner that respects the rights of workers without weakening the bargaining position of either party, while at the same time avoiding the risk of depriving the public of essential services.”

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