Nurses went out on a nationwide strike in Israel this morning. They are not asking for higher wages. Rather, they are asking that more nurses be hired. Israel has one of the lowest nurse-to-population ratios, and as a result, there are not enough nurses on staff in Israeli hospitals. The nurses claim that this deficit leads to a lower standard of care. During the strike, only emergency services will be provided, both in hospitals and in clinics throughout the country.
The state of Israeli hospitals is a long-standing problem. Israel has 2.2 hospital beds per 1,000 residents; as compared to an OECD average of 3.6 beds per 1,000 residents. Hospital stays in Israel are also shorter (i,e. 5 days per visit as opposed to 6.7, as an OECD average). Occupancy rates in Israeli hospitals are 94%, compared to average in OECD of 77%.