Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest guest

Doctors' strike in Israel may be good for health

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Guest guest



British Medical Journal : BMJ 2000;320:1561 ( 10 June )


NewsDoctors' strike in Israel may be good for health

Judy Siegel-Itzkovich , Jerusalem

Industrial action by doctors in Israel seems to be good for their patients'

health. Death rates have dropped considerably in most of the country since

physicians in public hospitals implemented a programme of sanctions three months

ago, according to a survey of burial societies.


The Israel Medical Association began the action on 9 March to protest against

the treasury's proposed imposition of a new four year wage contract for doctors.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of visits to outpatient clinics have been

cancelled or postponed along with tens of thousands of elective operations.

Public hospitals, which provide the vast majority of secondary and tertiary

medical care, have kept their emergency rooms, dialysis units, oncology

departments, obstetric and neonatal departments, and other vital facilities

working normally during the industrial action.


In the absence of official figures, the Jerusalem Post surveyed non-profit

making Jewish burial societies, which perform funerals for the vast majority of

Israelis, to find out whether the industrial action was affecting deaths in the



" The number of funerals we have performed has fallen drastically, " said Hananya

Shahor, the veteran director of Jerusalem's Kehilat Yerushalayim burial society.

" This month, there were only 93 funerals compared with 153 in May 1999, 133 in

the same month in 1998, and 139 in May 1997, " he said. The society handles 55%

of all deaths in the Jerusalem metropolitan area. Last April, there were only

130 deaths compared with 150 or more in previous Aprils. " I can't explain why, "

said Mr Shahor.


Meir Adler, manager of the Shamgar Funeral Parlour, which buries most other

residents of Jerusalem, declared with much more certainty: " There definitely is

a connection between the doctors' sanctions and fewer deaths. We saw the same

thing in 1983 [when the Israel Medical Association applied sanctions for four

and a half months]. "


Motti Yeshuvayov of Tel Aviv's only burial society said that he had noticed the

same trend in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area in the past two months. The only

exception to the trend of decreasing deaths has been in the Haifa area.


The coastal city of Netanya has only one hospital, and it has been spared the

industrial action because staff have to sign a no strike clause with their

contract. Netanya's burial society, headed by Shlomo Stieglitz, reported 87

funerals last month, the same number as in May 1999. It reported 97 in April

compared with 122 in April 1999, and 99 in March as compared with 119 in March

1999. Mr Stieglitz said that his burial society services not only Netanya but

also other cities, including Hadera and Kfar Sava, where hospital doctors have

joined the sanctions.


Avi Yisraeli, director general of the Hadassah Medical Organization, which owns

two university hospitals in the capital, offered his own explanation. " Mortality

is not the only measure of harm to health. Lack of medical intervention can lead

to disability, pain, and reduced functioning. Elective surgery can bring about a

great improvement in a patient's condition, but it can also mean disability and

death in the weakest patients. And patients who do not undergo diagnosis or

surgery now could decline or die in a few months due to thepostponement. "


During the months of the strike, patients " have been going more to their family

doctor and to hospital emergency rooms, which have not been affected by

sanctions, " Professor Yisraeli said.



Reader responses to article:



Striking doctors reduces death rates.14 June 2000 Roy M Ostenson

Appleton Chiropractic

Send response to journal:

Re: Striking doctors reduces death rates.


Email Roy M Ostenson:




I believe it was in Los Angeles County in the early 70's that the same thing

happened when doctors went on strike. The death rate dropped measurably then,


What else is new?14 June 2000 John A Kraft

Send response to journal:

Re: What else is new?


Email John A Kraft:




I have heard of this before. After one physician strike resulted in a lower

death rate, the morticians negotiated a settlement since their income suffered.


Striking M.D.s Killing Morticians6 July 2000 Steve Wilson

San Diego

Send response to journal:

Re: Striking M.D.s Killing Morticians


Email Steve Wilson:




Fortunately for morticians the medical doctors do not strike too long. During

these short periods of protest the business of morticians is devistated.


Doctor strikes, lowered mortality--Happens every time5 March 2001 James Braly

Las Vegas, Nevada

Send response to journal:

Re: Doctor strikes, lowered mortality--Happens every time


Email James Braly:




The 1960's saw physicians in Canada go on strike and the mortality rate dropped.

Los Angeles physicians associated with a USC hospital went on strike in the

1970's and the mortality rate dropped.

Physicians went on strike in South America (Columbia?) later that same decade

and the mortality rate dropped.

Physicians have now gone on strike on 3 different occasions in Israel --in the

1950's, again in the 1970's or 80's and now in the the year 2000. In all 3

occasions the mortality rate has dropped, on one or two occasions by 50%.

Conclusion? I'm sorry to say, but conventional, allopathic, (drug and surgery

happy) physicians remain very, very dangerous to our health (recall the May,

1998 JAMA article reviewing deaths caused by Rx medications given to American

hospitalized patients? 106,000 deaths caused by Rx drugs each year on average,

making Rx drugs in American hospitals the 5th or 6th leading cause of death! We

badly need science-based alternative medicine, don't we.


Medical Harm24 March 2002 Rex H Warren,

President Australian Chemical Trauma Alliance

19 Pike Crescent Gladstone Qld 4680 Australia

Send response to journal:

Re: Medical Harm


Email Rex H Warren:




It doesn't surprise me death rates drop when doctors strike. Adverse reactions

to drugs plays a huge role, especially in countries where Chemical Sensitivity

is not well recognized.

More attention might be given to the unhealthy protectionist relationship

between doctors and drug companies which supply their " tools of trade " and the

further extension of this relationship between drug companies and the actual

owners of patient rights to many drugs which are the Agvet pesticide

manufacturers, and the impact of their toxic products on human health.

The " relationship " is decidedly " unhealthy. "

Rex Warren President Australian Chemical Trauma Alliance









Gettingwell- / Vitamins, Herbs, Aminos, etc.


To , e-mail to: Gettingwell-

Or, go to our group site: Gettingwell





Mail Plus - Powerful. Affordable. Sign up now



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...