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Death Rate Drops During Doctor Strike

The June 10, 2000 publication of the British Medical journal reports on an interesting statistic which has took place Israel. It appears that 3 months ago physicians in public hospitals implemented a course of sanctions in reaction to a labor dispute over a contract proposal by the government. The content stated how the Israel Medical Association began an action in March to protest against the treasury's proposed imposition of a new 4 year wage agreement for doctors. Ever since then, the physicians have cancelled thousands and thousands of visits to outpatient clinics and also have postponed thousands of elective operations. To discover whether or not the industrial action was affecting deaths in the country, the Jerusalem Post interviewed non-profit making Jewish burial societies, which perform funerals for the the greater part of Israelis. Hananya Shahor, the veteran director of Jerusalem's Kehilat Yerushalayim burial society said, "The quantity of funerals we have performed has fallen drastically."
Meir Adler, manager of the Shamgar Funeral Parlour, which buries the majority of residents of Jerusalem, declared with a lot more certainty: "There is certainly an association involving the doctors sanctions and fewer deaths. We saw a similar thing in 1983 when the Israel Medical Association applied sanctions for four and a half months." In reaction Avi Yisraeli, director general of the Hadassah Medical Organization, offered his own explanation, "Mortality isn't the only way of measuring harm to health." He goes on to say that, "Elective surgery can bring about a great improvement in a patients condition, but it can also mean disability and death in the weakest patients."

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