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,” Ynet reported.
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 all have exacerbated the manpower shortage that nurses say they already faced before the start of the pandemic.
According to the Health Ministry, seven hundred and fifty-seven nurses were in quarantine as of July 12, as compared with 124 exactly one month ago, which is an increase of more than 500 percent.
As of Monday afternoon, Israel registered 19,300 active cases of coronavirus, with 47 patients on ventilators and a death toll of 362.