December 24, 2002
Magen David Adom is intensifying its sanctions today, in protest of its shortage of funds. Ten ambulances were parked in front of the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem today, bringing the total to 40. MDA workers are also not participating in readiness exercises in preparation for the Iraqi war, and they continue to threaten to close a third of their countrywide branches on Jan. 1. They claim that the government offices and the Mif’al HaPayis (Public Lottery) have simply “forgotten” to transfer funds to MDA. Next week, service will be stopped in Mitzpeh Ramon and Tzohar in the Negev, and will reduce service in Ashdod.
Oren Blumstein, the deputy chairman of the MDA Workers Union, spoke with Arutz-7’s Uzi Baruch this morning. “We’re not fighting for our wages,” he said, “but rather for people’s lives, and against government apathy. The government promised to allocate funds for ambulances that the MDA acquired in Karnei Shomron, Herzliya, Beit She’an, and elsewhere – but has not done so, and we cannot bear this burden any longer. The Finance Ministry, the Health Ministry, the Prime Minister’s office, and the Payis – they all said they would send money, but have not done so… We promised that every citizen would be able to have an ambulance in less than ten minutes, but now we are reverting to the status of a third-world country. Starting Jan. 1, an ambulance in Ariel will have to leave from Petach Tikvah (25 kilometers away), or in Karnei Shomron will have to come from Kfar Saba (15 kilometers away)…”