700 medical residents resign; court rules move illegal

Mass resignation rattles health system as Labor Court rules move ‘illegal collective measure,’ mulls injunction By Neri Brener

The resignation letters submitted by 700 medical residents in July have taken effect on Sunday morning, sending the public health system into a tailspin.



Shortly after, the National Labor Court declared the move as illegal. The court is due to hear the State’s motion for further injunctions in the case later on Sunday.


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The court’s ruling, which states that the mass resignation is an „illegal collective measure,” has effectively rendered the residents’ letters of resignation null and void. The ruling also compels the residents to return to their posts, or risk breaking the law.


The letters, drafted as part of the doctors’ wage protest, were originally entrusted with a third party. They were submitted to the various hospitals last week, after the residents said that the wage agreement signed between the Treasury and Israeli Medical Association (IMA) failed to meet their demands.


אסיפת המתמחים המתפטרים ליד בית החולים "מאיר" (צילום: עידו ארז)

Not backing down. The residents (Photo: Ido Erez)


Following the court’s ruling and until the matter is resolved, the residents’ duties in hospitals would have to be carried out by attending doctors and specialist.



The State is seeking an injunction against any such move, present or future, alleging that mass resignations are illegal. The residents however, claim that each resignation letter was individual, and exercised an individual’s right to leave his or her job.



The residents said that if need be, they would submit new letters of resignation with their respective hospitals.




The move has already been declared „catastrophic” by health system officials. The Health Ministry has instructed hospitals nationwide to cancel all planned vacations, as well as to try and defer any IDF reserve duty scheduled for doctors in the coming weeks.


Other measures include slating senior attending physicians and specialist for shifts usually done by the residents.