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Coronavirus: Israel nurses’ union threatens strike amid staff shortages

July 16, 2020 at 8:01 pm

Central Election Comittee member wearing protective gear enters to count votes cast by israeli voters under Coronavirus concerns on 4 March 2020 in Shoham, Israel. [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

Israeli nurses threatened to go on strike over medical workers shortages, i24 News reported.

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens in Israel, nurses are preparing to go on strike, demanding the government funds an extra 1,500 nursing staff and reinforcement of staff on the coronavirus ward.

National Association of Nurses, which is Israel’s nursing union, called for the action over the shortages, citing 1000 medical staff in quarantine with COVID-19, and the anxiety levels of nurses.

Nursing union official Ilana Cohen also delivered a stark warning to the Israeli government over the healthcare system and its capacity to deal with the pandemic.

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Cohen said: “If we don’t concern ourselves with necessary changes to be implemented, the situation will end in catastrophe for the health system. The Treasury is simply not addressing our demands. All the same, nurses will continue to work in coronavirus departments according to a regular schedule, despite the strike.”

This comes as a blow for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s already fragile government as they attempt to cope with the recent social workers’ strike and what experts have declared a ‘second wave’ of infections.

Israel recently saw 10,000-strong protests about the government’s perceived lack of economic support for its citizens during the lockdown.