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2,500 Israeli medical residents, interns resign over 26-hr shifts

Tel Aviv, Oct 8 (IANS) More than 2,500 Israeli medical residents and interns have resigned amid a dispute with the country Health Ministry over the length 26-hour shifts, the Medical Residents Organization of Israel (Mirsham) said.

Claiming that they had been forced to work sleeplessly on the exhausting 26-hour shifts, the residents and interns rejected the ministry's plan to ease their working stress, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the plan published by the Ministry earlier on Thursday, the shifts will be shortened to 18 hours in 10 hospitals in northern and southern Israel, with the exception of surgical wards.

Meanwhile, the working hours per week in these hospitals will not exceed 63, and the number of shifts per month will not exceed six.

The Ministry noted that the plan will be expanded to all hospitals in Israel by the end of 2026.

The medical residents and interns claimed that the plan would not help shorten the long shifts for many of them.

"We will not stop until we bring a real shortening of shifts, not a plan that demeans the interns," said Rey Biton, the head of Mirsham.