Grappling with COVID cases, Israel’s nurses threaten strike over staff shortages

July 14, 2020 by JNS
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The Israel Nurses Association (INA) threatened a general strike on Sunday over what it claims are worsening work conditions caused by the coronavirus crisis.

“We are collapsing,” INA head Ilana Cohen wrote in a letter to Finance Minister Israel Katz. “If we do not immediately receive extra manpower, we will strike,” reported Ynet.

Cohen also complained that hospitals purchased ventilators, “but did not train nurses to operate them.”

The reopening of hospitals’ coronavirus wards as a result of a second-wave outbreak, emergency rooms filled with COVID-19-infected patients and the quarantine of many nurses have exacerbated the shortages that nurses say they already faced before the start of the pandemic.

According to the Health Ministry, 750 nurses were in quarantine as of July 12, as compared with 124 exactly one month ago—an increase of more than 500 per cent.

As of Monday afternoon, Israel registered 19,300 active cases of coronavirus, with 47 patients on ventilators and a death toll of 362.

JNS

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