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Jerusalem Post: Israeli public health nurses strike, halting preventative care, in bid to save patients who rely on world class family health service

April 6, 2003 -- Judy Siegel-Itzkovitz's piece in today's Jerusalem Post describes the ongoing strike by some 2,200 Israeli public health nurses who object to the government's plans to restructure the family health service, a move the nurses say will harm children and others who rely on the service. The article notes that Israeli family health center nurses provide vaccinations and preventative care to children, pregnant women, new mothers, recent immigrants and the elderly. They recently gave smallpox vaccinations to those who would be "first responders" in the event of a biological attack, according to Israeli Nurses Union head Moriya Ashkenazi. The piece states that the strike has halted these preventative services, a stark illustration of what happens in the absence of nurses. Former nurses union head Am Ehad MK Ilana Cohen said the government plan could imperil future generations, noting that the family health service had achieved one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates. The public health nurses division of the nurses union reportedly vowed to continue the strike until the planned change is reversed.

Click here to see the Jerusalem Post article.