Nurses strike enters second week; Netanyahu “has dried up public health system”

Israel’s nurses have begun their second week on strike as no progress has been reported in negotiations with the Treasury.

According to some reports, the nurses are threatening to intensify their actions, effectively shutting down all but emergency procedures in the country’s hospitals.

Opposition Member of Knesset Zehava Gal-On, leader of the left-wing Meretz party, is quoted as saying that Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu “has dried up the public health system and presented the nurses with the bill.” Gal-On said the nurses’ struggle was “completely justified, as they work under impossible conditions with a severe manpower shortage, too few beds and not enough equipment.”

Israel is the only country in the region with strong independent trade unions that can stand up to the kinds of neo-liberal policies that target things like the public health system.

For more about the nurses’ dispute, read the Jerusalem Post, YNet and Ha’aretz.