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February 12, 2014 1:56 pm

Amid Ongoing Strike, Hadassah Hospital Says it Will Operate on Emergency Level Only

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Hadassa Medical Center. Photo: Wiki Commons. Medical staffers at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem are intensifying their strike and announced that they will operate at emergency levels only, with even less staff coming to work than the current weekend capacity.

“We are leaving only life saving staff in place. Those who want the strikes to stop need to pay salaries. This is withholding our salary and is a precedent. If someone wants to pay half a salary, then we will do half the work, no one here is hesitating to strike,” Israeli National Nurses Union Chairwoman Ilana Cohen said.

Some patients have rallied behind the striking nurses and doctors. “My heart goes out to the doctors at Hadassah. They have nothing to do with the administrative failure, they are the heart of the system,” patient Reuven Carmel said.

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The Jerusalem-based Hadassah Medical Organization that is now facing a financial crisis includes two hospitals—Hadassah Mount Scopus and Hadassah Ein Kerem—as well as various other medical institutions.

Hadassah is currently 1.3 billion shekels ($370 million) in debt and has been struggling to meet payments to both creditors and staff. A recovery plan introduced over the past few years has failed, and administrators at the financially strapped center have warned its collapse is imminent. Jerusalem District Court Judge David Mintz ruled Tuesday in favor of the hospital administration’s plea to freeze creditor proceedings against Hadassah for 90 days, to allow for a recovery plan.

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