Israel: Health Ministry concerned about doctors leaving country [UAE offers jobs]

Middle East Monitor  /  August 3, 2023

The Ministry of Health in Israel has expressed concern that more doctors appear to be planning to emigrate and work abroad, The Times of Israel reported on Wednesday. In an emergency meeting with doctors last week, the ministry’s Director-General, Moshe Bar Siman-Tov, urged them to not “give up” on Israel’s public health system.

“I know that there are many of us walking around today with very difficult feelings, and it’s understandable. Instinctive responses to the issue are also understandable. Having said that, everyone also knows that we don’t have another country or health system,” Siman-Tov told doctors.

“I really think that nobody among us has the privilege to give up, not on the country and not on the system. We are the foundation of societal solidarity in Israel and show that it’s possible to live, work and receive care together.”

Following the passing of the law to limit the Supreme Court’s oversight of the government last week, a WhatsApp group for doctors seeking advice on relocating overseas was set up. It has attracted the attention of at least 3,000 physicians.


UAE offers jobs to Israel doctors amid strikes over judicial reform 

Middle East Monitor  /  August 1, 2023

The UAE is looking to attract Israeli doctors to the country according to a report by the Times of Israel today. Against the backdrop of popular protests and strikes across Israel over the initial passing of controversial judicial reforms, “thousands of doctors” are said to have joined a Whatsapp group chat seeking advice on how to relocate overseas, with some having already received lucrative offers to move to the Gulf state, the report said, citing Channel 12.

The group chat started after the Knesset passed a law to limit court oversight of the government last week, attracting at least 3,000 physicians.

The offers reportedly came from official sources in the UAE, as well as Bahrain – both countries were among the first two Arab states to sign the US-brokered Abraham Accords with Israel in 2020, followed by Morocco and Sudan.

In June, the UAE and Israel entered into a strategic partnership, involving Israel’s Sheba Medical Centre and PureHealth, the largest healthcare platform in the Middle East, based in Abu Dhabi.

The report noted that the terms of the offers for the UAE include a salary “three times higher than the standard in Israel” in addition to education opportunities for the physicians’ children and a “golden visa” allowing for long-term residency and other benefits.

Last week, doctors across Israel staged a one-day general strike to protest the parliament’s approval of the bill which abolishes the “reasonableness” clause that allows Israel’s Supreme Court to overrule government decisions. The previous week also saw credit rating agency Moody’s warning of “significant risk” in the country over the judicial overhaul, “with negative consequences for Israel’s economy and security situation.”